Nov 11, 2021 • 38M

Gary Lineker on the psychology of sport

Superstition, selfishness and self-esteem

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Interviews with the experts, entertainers and academics in the weird, wonderful and creative world of behavioural science.
Episode details

Welcome to A Load of BS: The Behavioural Science Podcast. Today, as we take a turn in the road towards other areas of BS, I am thrilled to welcome none other than Gary Lineker to the show to discuss the psychology of sport with me.

For many, Gary needs little introduction, but I'm going to give you one anyway because that's how these things work. We need a little build up, some anticipation.

Gary was one of the great footballers of his generation, joining his boyhood club Leicester City in 1978 where he played for 7 years before a move to the great Everton side of the mid-1980s where he dazzled sufficiently to attract the attention of Barcelona where he played under Terry Venables. Then came the big move (I say with definite bias) to Tottenham Hotspur in 1989 where he won the FA Cup in 1991 (I game I attended I may add) before finishing his career with a brief stint in Japan.

Gary also played 80 times for England scoring 48 times. Since his glittering athletic career, he has moved seamlessly into media in which his mainstay has been hosting Match of the Day for over 20 years. And so much more, including his famous Walkers Crisps TV commercials and his just launched TV gameshow 'Sitting on a Fortune', or as Gary remarked on Twitter, not 'Shitting on a Fortune.'

In this episode, we talk about:

  • What self-confidence means to Gary

  • What Gazza was doing before the 1990 World Cup semi-final

  • What it feels like taking a World Cup penalty

  • The characteristics that make up a successful dressing room

  • Generalisation vs. specialisation and

  • Gary's superstitions

Gary’s book recommendation and desert island tunes

More big names are talking BS

It's a testament to the interest, breadth and appeal of behavioural science, and this podcast, that people like Gary Lineker are keen to join me and share stories and insights so openly and warmly. Talking of which, in my next episode I'm switching back to politics and social psychology in conversation with writer, Times commentator and Conservative Party moderniser, moderate, maven and former advisor to William Hague, George Osborne and David Cameron - Danny Finkelstein. It's a brilliant conversation which I'm excited to share with you all.

Give Gary and me a Twitter review

If you like this episode, please go to Twitter right now and give Gary (@garylineker) and me (@danielsjross) a nice review. We'd both love that. And if you haven't subscribed here yet, please join us.

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No more fuss, it's time for kick-off! (Sorry)