Soccer Psychology – The Difference Between Winning and Losing

In today’s game of soccer most would argue that the most important person in a team is the coach. But a new position has arisen from the depths of the grandstand and his importance has significantly increased. Can you guess who it is?

Big clubs all over the world are employing Sports psychologists for help and some have even put them on as full time staff. Sports psychology has become the next boom industry as clubs and coaches have discovered the power of soccer psychology.

The difference between winning and losing at the highest level can be separated by a thin white line. All players are extremely fit, skillful, strong and quick. But how many players are confident and mentally strong? Clubs have discovered this and have added psychology to their growing list of weapons.

Players these days have pushed their physical capabilities to the limit and the competitive edge has virtually flattened out. That’s until mental warfare stepped in with the arrival of soccer psychology.

Science has proven that psychology and the right mindset influences and improves soccer performance. Sports psychology also identifies weaknesses and offers counseling to players who might be suffering from a lack of confidence and low self-esteem. They can also monitor motivational levels within a team and assess the whole team on an individual basis.

Soccer psychologists can also identify the different personalities within the team and ensure that these personalities don’t clash and work together. Remember, a champion team will always beat a team of champions. Soccer psychologists make the transition from a team to a championship team look very simple. By correcting the mindset of the players and increasing the player’s confidence the dream of winning silverware becomes a reality.

Soccer over the years has claimed its fair share of victims. Players that have lost all confidence and cannot perform at the levels required have inevitably been shown the door at their respective clubs. How can we stop this? Most players that have lost their confidence also suffer from low self esteem. With low self esteem comes the nerves and anxiety. If you have this problem within your team, the use of a soccer psychologist will solve all your problems. They will help your players relax and also use mental imagery to build on their shattered confidence without even touching a soccer ball.

Sports psychology has been directly linked to team spirit. The greater the team spirit, the greater chance you have of winning trophies. That’s why we see the smaller clubs of Europe beating some of the heavy weights in the champion’s league. Are the players better at the smaller clubs? Or do they have team spirit? From watching the champion’s league, it’s clearly evident what the smaller clubs lack in talent they make up in spirit and confidence.

The main purpose of psychology in soccer is to prevent the players feeling like failures when they lose. By eliminating this feeling, psychologists are protecting the players self esteem. Could self esteem and confidence be the secret ingredient all the big clubs share?

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Student Letting Analysis For UK Residential Landlords

The student letting market is a niche market for landlords but one that can be very rewarding if a landlord gets it right but equally it's very easy and expensive if landlords get it wrong.

Landlords have been letting to students studying away from home for years. Originally the market was relatively small and concentrated in a small number of university towns. However, the explosion in higher education numbers since the 70's and 80's and now with the Government's aspiration to have 50% of 18-30 year olds in Higher Education by 2010 means that demand for accommodation has grown massively over the last 30 years.

The result has been the emergence of a "cottage industry" of student landlords in many towns. Many parents have helped solve their student off springs accommodation needs by financing the purchase of a single investment property to let out whilst their son or daughter completed their education. In this way they ensure that they have some where decent to live whilst also avoiding paying out dead money in rent and also potentially providing a good long-term property investment.

Demand for student housing

Data from the Office for National Statistics show that the higher education initial participation rate was 40% among 17 to 30 year olds in 2006/2007, down from the 43% achieved in 05/06 but still short of the Governments target of 50%.

According to Knight Frank the UK student population has grown consistently over the last 10 years. Total student numbers have grown from 1.8 million in 1997 to 2.5 million in 2007. Savills expect this to hit 3 million full and part time students by 2014. Growth has been driven in the main by domestic UK undergraduate demand. There is a trend to rising numbers of foreign student, with participation of overseas students at UK universities rising 67% over the past decade. Knight Frank research shows that in 1997 they accounted for 11% (international students) and 21% (postgraduates) of all students; by 2007 these figures had increased to 15% and 24% respectively. Both international students and postgraduates are more likely to opt for purpose built private student housing rather than shared houses. Foreign student numbers are expected to grow from 15% of all students in 2008 to 21% by 2018.

Current supply

Savills research estimates that there are:

* 459,000 student beds in halls of residence
* 680,000 full time students in Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
* 259,000 full time students live at home with their parents

The number of students living at home with their parents has risen from 13% in 1996/97 to 19% in 2005/06. The number of full-time students living in HMOs has risen from 37% to 46% largely as a result of student number not being matched by the number of student beds provided within purpose built student accommodation.

As a general trend the supply of accommodation by private landlords has been falling in the last couple of years. This is in part to the HMO licensing regulations that came in 2006 and also as a result of the increasing number of private operated halls. In 2005 this type of accommodation accounted for around 7% of all bed spaces with the figure growing to around 10% in 2007. The expansion of private accommodation has partly been as a result of the increasing demand form post graduate and foreign students who demand and are able to afford higher rents and demand a higher standard of accommodation.

Future supply of student housing

Analysis of planning application data shows that there are approximately 78,000 potential student bed spaces in the planning pipeline at the end of 2006. 26% are at the application stage, 42% are awaiting full planning consent and the remaining 32% have planning consent and are under construction.

Student housing rent levels

Research carried out by Savills show that student rental levels have continued to increase over the last 20 years. Their opinion is that:

"This implies significant performance benefits over both conventional residential lettings and the commercial market, where cyclical downturns have resulted in periods of negative income growth."

However they did express some words of caution.

"increasing levels of supply may also suppress rental growth which suggests that location and proximity to universities will be the key determining factor."

Over the last 4 years according to research conducted by accommodation for students average rent levels have increased 17% from £ 52.44 to £ 62.48.

There are as one would expect large variations in rent levels across the country.

London and the south most expensive; Chester, Exeter and Loughborough are the high flyers, according to latest accommodationforstudents.com research (May 08)

The average weekly student rent in the UK is now £ 61.48, a figure 1.5% higher than last year according to the stats which are based on over 44,000 properties in 76 cities across the UK (see full table below). Over the past 4 years the average student rent has risen 17%, from £ 52.44 in 2004.

London leads the way with an average weekly rent of £ 102.85, 67% above the UK average. Moreover, it is generally more expensive to rent student accommodation in the south of the country. Middlesex, Cambridge, Guildford, Surrey, Exeter, Oxford and Brighton are all 20% or more costly than the UK norm. Two notable exceptions are Scotland and Ireland. St. Andrews, thanks, perhaps, to the attendance of Prince William, has an average student rent of £ 82.29, 34% above the UK average and the highest by far in Scotland. Edinburgh and Glasgow are also above average, but only 14% by comparison, with average weekly rents of £ 70.26 and £ 70.08 respectively, the first time Edinburgh has been higher than Glasgow since the research began 5 years ago.

Dublin has been included for the first time. It is not obviously part of the UK but is still popular with students from here; rents are second only to London at £ 87.68 per week, 43% above average. Belfast, by comparison, can offer inexpensive student accommodation, with average weekly rents being only £ 51.79, 16% below the rest of the UK.

Some traditional English redbrick universities: Liverpool (£ 50.52), Birmingham (£ 54.28), Manchester (£ 56.65), and Sheffield (£ 57.12) are still below the average UK weekly student rent (£ 61.48). However others, like Leeds (£ 62.03), Nottingham (£ 61.60), and Newcastle (£ 58.90) reflect their popularity by rising rent levels. All three have shown rent increases well over twice the UK average of 1.5% over the last year; Leeds is up by 6.5%.

Best value locations in terms of student rental accommodation are the less fashionable student towns like Crewe, Middlesbrough, Stoke, Wolverhampton and Bradford, with average weekly rents of between £ 40 and £ 45.

There are a number of 'hotspot' areas, Exeter, for instance, which now have an average weekly student rent of £ 77.54, 26% above average, and higher even than Oxford. Yet five years ago average student rents in the city were only £ 58, 34% less. Rents in Loughborough have risen 28% in the last four years, from £ 52 per week to £ 66.81. But the real current high-flyer in terms of student rents is Chester, where rents have gone up 14% in the last year alone, from £ 67.83 to £ 77.12, putting it firmly in the UK Top 10.

London unsurprisingly is still the most expensive city by far, although student rents in the capital have remained stable. However, in comparison, the rest of the UK is catching up. In 2004 the average student rent in London was 95% above the UK average of £ 53.44. Today, at £ 102.85, the weekly student rent in the capital is just 67% above the average of £ 61.48.

UK Student Rent Analysis, April 2008 (76 cities / 44,185 properties)

City Average Rent Per Week (£) Index *
London – 102.85 167
Dublin – 87.68 143
Middlesex – 83.97 137
Cambridge – 82.98 135
Guildford – 82.37 134
St Andrews – 82.29 134
Surrey – 81.15 132
Exeter – 77.54 126
Chester – 77.12 125
Oxford – 74.71 122
Brighton – 73.71 120
Kent – 72.24 117
Canterbury – 71.96 117
Edinburgh – 70.26 114
Glasgow – 70.08 114
Bournemouth – 69.11 112
Bristol – 68.84 112
Warwick – 68.75 112
Eastbourne – 68.67 112
Bath – 68.29 111
Chichester – 67.08 109
Durham – 66.95 109
Reading – 66.89 109
Loughborough – 66.81 109
Hatfield – 66.35 108
Doncaster – 66.04 107
Winchester – 65.65 107
Colchester – 64.67 105
Portsmouth – 64.49 105
Plymouth – 63.26 103
Cornwall – 62.76 102
Leeds – 62.03 101
Newport – 61.68 100
Nottingham – 61.60 100
Leamington Spa – 61.38 100
York – 60.63 99
Worcester – 60.56 99
Luton – 60.35 98
Lincoln – 60.23 98
Southampton – 60.06 98
Newcastle – 58.90 96
Stafford – 58.43 95
Aberdeen – 58.22 95
Huddersfield – 57.87 94
Devon – 57.52 94
Sheffield – 57.12 93
Cardiff – 56.85 92
Northampton – 56.76 92
Manchester – 56.65 92
Hastings – 56.59 92
Norwich – 56.44 92
Cheltenham – 56.34 92
Swansea – 55.99 91
Preston – 55.06 90
Leicester – 54.90 89
Dundee – 54.82 89
Birmingham – 54.28 88
Bangor – 53.36 87
Derby – 51.89 84
Belfast – 51.79 84
Lancaster – 50.88 83
Liverpool – 50.52 82
Coventry – 50.42 82
Bolton – 50.15 82
Salford – 49.73 81
Blackpool – 49.34 80
Carlisle – 48.25 78
Stockton – 47.38 77
Hull – 47.11 77
Sunderland – 46.70 76
Pontypridd – 46.36 75
Bradford – 44.61 73
Wolverhampton – 43.49 71
Stoke-on-Trent – 42.04 68
Middlesbrough – 41.54 68
Crewe – 40.33 66

UK Average Weekly Student Rent 61.48 100

* Index compared to UK average student weekly rent of £ 61.48.
2007 Ave £ 60.58 (-1.5%)

Interpreting the figures

Landlords need to be aware that in viewing these figures that they are the average achieved across the accommodation types. These levels have in recent years been boosted by the upgrading of student accommodation brought about by the contribution of purpose built private sector student halls. This accommodation is frequently provided with ensuite facilities, which according to Savills generates rents that are on average at a premium of 19% to similar shared accommodation. Therefore a prospective landlord should ensure that they do their own local research by talking to local rental agents and University Accommodation Offices before factoring in their expected rents to their investment calculations.

Having looked at the demand and supply of rental accommodation and likely rents we go on in part two to look at the likely investment return and practical considerations of investing in student accommodation including looking at several case studies.

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The Bustling and Historical Bridgetown Barbados – Caribbean

Barbados may be known for its gorgeous beaches, but before you head out to these sandy patches of paradise, take the time to explore the island nation's only true city -Bridgetown. This Caribbean city and holds the biggest population in the country, and offers curious visitors a look at Barbados' rich culture and history.

While the city may have established quite a number of modern structures like office complexes, shopping malls and banks, Bridgetown has still managed to preserve a number of its most precious historic sites and colonial buildings. The city maintains a very energetic atmosphere enhanced by its vibrant streets, regularly occupied by eager vendors of various goods and fresh produce. Here, you will get plenty of opportunities for duty -free shopping especially in areas like the Broad Street. It is also very easy to find local crafts in the city's street markets.

Most of the important tourist sites in Bridgetown are within easy walking distance from the city center. And fortunately, the city buses serve most of these destinations. Take note that Bridgetown is one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean. While here, don't miss the chance to walk around its fascinating historical section, which is home to the city's most precious architectural landmarks, including the Parliament Buildings of Barbados. These buildings exude the exquisite neo-gothic design and were constructed in the late 19th century using coral limestone. One of the impressive features of the buildings is its stained glass windows, which depict the different British monarchs. Its west wing houses the government offices, the clock tower, the Parliament Museum and the National Gallery. And if you walk to the east wing, you will find the Senate and House of Assembly.

The Barbados Garrison is another significant historical landmark in Bridgetown. It fact this garrison is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it is considered to be the largest of its kind during the 18th and 19th centuries. These days, the garrison houses the Barbados Defense Force, but it has other sections that are worth visiting. Some of these sections include the St. Ann's Fort, established in 1705; the Georgian style mansion called George Washington House; and the Barbados National Armory, which maintains a massive collection of iron cannons, made during the 17th century. Another important building found in the garrison is the Barbados Museum, which can give you great insight into the island's history through its extensive exhibits and galleries. In the exterior portion of the Barbados Garrison lies an oval green space, which is used as a park and venue for sporting events, horse races and parades.

Make your way to the city's natural harbor called Carlisle Bay, which also plays hosts to regular water sports events. If you walk to the southern side of the bay, you will find the popular Pebbles beach, which is frequently visited due to its soft white sand and perfectly calm water, suitable for swimming. If scuba diving is something you would like to do, arrange an excursion to the Carlisle Bay Marine Park, whose ocean floor is occupied by a couple of old shipwrecks.

If you are content just staying on the beach, comfortably sitting on a sun lounge and protected by an umbrella; then you should seek out the Boatyard Beach Club. This club is conveniently equipped with a restaurant and offers a range of fun water-based activities.

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Best Football Teams In Bulgaria

Football is religion for this small country. Throughout its communist times, the Bulgarian nation managed to preserve its nationality and freedom exactly through supporting the country’s favourite football club – Levski Sofia named after the apostle of Bulgarian freedom from Ottoman rule, established in 1914. Known under many different names throughout the years, broken down and dissolved in an attempt to subdue the enthusiasm and empower the communist motto «If you’re not with us, you are against us» and stomp on the basic human rights to support a team they love, Levski Sofia football club has managed to perservere and come out on top in today’s society. It has won 26 Bulgarian Championship titles, only beaten by its rival CSKA Sofia. Famous football icons such as Gundi and Gonzo who played internationally have captained the team and have taken it to worldwide fame. Gerena stadium is the main stadium of Levski Stadium with capacity of 19,000.

The other mostly supported Bulgarian team is CSKA Sofia. Its history is a little different to Levski’s as they were the Army’s team in the past – supported by the government in power and managed by the very same. Considering they have won 31 title in the shorter history, founded in 1934, it is only fair to consider the fact that during communist times they were pushed to victories in order to maintain the control of the governing party by proving to the ordinary citizen that the leading party is the almighty powerful tool that is to lead them. If we put that aside, CSKA has provided one of the top quality footballers on a worldwide level, including Hristo Stoichkov and Dimitar Berbatov, one playing for Barcelona, reaching 4th place with Bulgarian national team and winning the Golden Ball award and the other playing for top clubs like Tottenham, Manchester United and Monaco and winning the Champions League, respectively. CSKA Sofia has a great academy for youngsters and is known to promote young footballers and develop them to become great professionals.

The most famous, risen to infamousy football club recently is Ludogoretz. It’s owner is Kiril Domuschiev, a wealthy businessman that funds the club and supplies it with a budget nearly 5 times as large as the second to it in terms of finance. Their main strategy is to acquire footballers from abroad, primarily African regions and Brazil and use them to dominate in the local championship. Results speak for themselves, Ludogoretz has been a champion for the past 4 years since it emerged in the Group A of the Bulgarian football league. They played in the Champions League groups last year narrowly losing to Liverpool and Real Madrid and beating Basel on home turf. The team resembles Manchester City and Real Madrid in terms of management and is the top club in Bulgaria at the moment.

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