More Julio Velasco

Posted by

Sadly when I was a younger coach, I heard a couple of quotes from Julio Velasco that were misrepresented to me or either deliberately or ‘accidently’ presented to me out of context.  From this lack of information I was not able to develop a true understanding of the breadth of his vision or his real impact on the game.  I regret that.

For example, I was presented with the quote ‘I am a coach, not a psychologist’.  I recently heard the full context from Alessandro Lodi, who has a native’s access to the original Italian.  The full quote is a lot more like…

“Some things do not work because we do not train them. For instance, we hit, the ball is overdug, it comes directly to us, it falls. Many coaches would say: my players are not focused, they have psychological problem. I coach perfectly, but I am not a psychologist, so I cannot do anything, it is not my fault. Psychology is the great excuse nowadays.”

The short (mis)representation says the coach doesn’t have to think about psychology.  The long representation bemoans coaches who blame lack of performance on the psychological state of their athletes and then wash their hands of responsibility for it.**  The difference between the two is somewhat massive.  I would go so far as to say they are exactly opposite.

To prevent me from deliberately or accidentally falling into the exact same trap, I have linked three short Youtube clips from presentations by Velasco in Italian with subtitles in English.  I leave them to you without further commentary.


Read about the principles that Vyacheslav Platonov to this coaching feat here.

Cover v2


  1. But I think that there is still something like a lack of focus or mental problems with athletes. And I find this part of the coaches work the hardest. If you have to work on focus and/or psychological issues you don’t only need a load of knowledge and skill but also a lot of patience.

    Because old habits are strong and mostly because at some times it looks like that athlete is not responding at all. But I think almost every player does respond – only in a way I’m not expecting and therefore can not recognize at once.

    Mental work seems to be a tricky matter because we can easily do a lot of harm instead of helping the player to grow his game.


    1. If I interpret the point correctly, which is not necessarily a given, Velasco doesn’t say that it is not a problem. The problem is with coaches who use the psychological readiness etc of their athletes to excuse their lack of success. Blaming it on the players is the oldest (and most successful) excuse that coaches at all levels use.


  2. Hi Mark,

    I still can’t comment on your posts by simply using my e-mail address, name and website. I am always asked to login with my WordPress account which is followed by an error message, because I’m certainly not able to log into your website. Am I the only one with this problem?

    Best wishes, Oliver

    Viele Grüße |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Oliver Wagner


    1. You are the only one who complains of it. I don’t know if that means the others just give up. I will look at the settings.


      1. I have checked my settings and I don’t see a problem at this end. I don’t think I have accidentally blocked you. If you think of something that it could be, let me know.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s