Tottenham star opens up on working with a mind coach and neuroscientist

Emerson Royal
Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Speaking to The Times, Tottenham defender Emerson Royal has revealed his struggle at adapting to life in England. 

Royal joined Spurs last summer for a £22.5 million fee (TransferMarkt). However, while the 23-year-old initially showed promise within Nuno Espirito Santo’s back four, he later struggled to adapt to Antonio Conte’s wing-back system.

Despite a shaky season, Royal played an important role in Spurs’ impressive run-in that saw them clinch a spot in next season’s Champions League with a 5-0 drubbing of Norwich City (Premier League).

The Brazilian recently opened up on the steps he took to help him adapt to life in the Premier League. Royal worked with both a mind coach and a neuroscientist to advance his mindset and help him to focus on gelling into Conte’s system.

He said (The Times): “Sometimes people think that when someone is working out their mind, that means they are crazy. But we use very little of our brain capacity and we need to develop it, especially in high-performance sports.

“Now I wake up an hour earlier than I did before and start to imagine how the training session is going to be, to get into that mental zone.”

Emerson went on to outline the issues that he initially had settling into the side during Nuno’s tenure in N17.

He added: “Nuno didn’t explain things to me in Portuguese, our mutual language, he only spoke to me in English, because he wanted me to improve as a Premier League player.

“That from him was for my own good, because he wanted me to get out of my comfort zone and grow.

“When Conte gets in, I guessed things would be even harder, but he speaks to me in Italian, and I answer him in English or Spanish, which he understands well. And now I have better English, so it’s been working well.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Making 31 Premier League appearances this season, Emerson chipped in with one goal and one assist for the Lilywhites (TransferMarkt). If he is to be in Conte’s plans next summer, these are numbers that he most certainly needs to improve.

He clearly started to adapt to the demands of the league during the final period of the season, so it will be interesting to see whether he can step up in what is no doubt going to be a huge campaign for Spurs.

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