Do footballers do psychometric profiling? by Catriona Cookson

I found myself wondering exactly this, yes really, I did, after Manchester United’s 3-1 win against PSG in the Champions League with Marcus Rashford’s last gasp penalty.

At BLT, I’ve covered most areas of the management consultancy sector – some more interesting than others I have to say! One of the most fascinating is the broad People and Change space …covering a range of topics from culture change and purpose to leadership development and assessment.

I also love football, and declare my interest as a Manchester United fan, ….and where do you begin with the People and Change transformation at this club recently? A change in leadership has brought a transformation in performance, results, attitude, confidence, self-belief, trust ….and the list goes on. And with the big changes come small ones too – arriving at matches in a smart club suits sets out a statement of intent which a casual tracksuit never does. Does this feed into performance…well it can’t do any harm that’s for sure!

I’m no organisational development expert but something special is happening when a team overturns a 2- 0 home leg deficit for the first time ever in the Champions League to progress to the next round. I vaguely recall reading that Gareth Southgate had introduced psychometric profiling in his World Cup campaign last year to help decide who the penalty takers should be, but this could just be one of those hazy half-truths from the time.

So, who knows if Marcus Rashford has been through any psychometric profiling exercise, or if he just had the self-belief and confidence to volunteer for that penalty? Either way, even if you’re not a big football fan you have to admire the victory on the night.

And on this International Women’s Day, let’s also remember the recent success of the women’s football team, winning the SheBelieves Cup beating Japan 3-0. Now for the World Cup in France this summer ….although I’ll have to be cheering for Scotland when they play England on June 9th!

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