The above profile which is intended to help clubs decide whether a player is worth the vast sums of money they currently seem to command. It was Devised by Geir Jordet, professor in sport psychology at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, works with several top clubs across Europe – including in the UK. “The best way to learn about  the psychology of a player is to observe what he does on the pitch,” he says. Geir Jordet’s 11-model of performance psychology illustrates the types of behaviours expected of an elite-level footballer. Jordet has devised a model of 11 attributes that can be used to judge whether a player will succeed, or can be helped to succeed, at the very highest levels.

I came across this profile while looking at BBC Football website and I mused, I wonder if the profile could be applied to retired people. It might be a way of judging whether a retired person was going to be worth funding throughout their retirement. The government could use it as a way of determining whether a soon-to-be-retired person was worth their state pension. I suppose if a person had generated their own private pension then fair enough, let them keep it but a state pension, yes OK they’d paid in, but times are tough, we’re constantly being told that there won’t be enough money to go around on account of us old gits living too long. In the words above an assessment could be set up (not by observing them on the pitch though)  to consider – is this retired person ‘likely to succeed at the very highest levels’. Perhaps the softener is in the words, ‘or can be helped to succeed’. This might be taken to suggest that some of us and I include myself in this category, might need support or even training to succeed as a retiree. As you’ll know I’ve certainly struggled a bit to adapt or get the best out of this retirement business.

So let me begin by looking at the above ‘attributes’ and considering whether they can be applied to retirement. Starting in goal – 1. Express one’s unique identity. Now I like this and as evidence of my liking you have only to re-read a number of earlier blogs in which I have suggested for a retire person to be fulfilled they need to develop a new identity to replace that of their working identity. Old git with nothing much to do isn’t going to make it. So first judgement criteria will be a person’s capacity to identify to the assessor the nature of their new identity. At right back (if you’re not a soccer fan these descriptors will mean nothing but they amuse me), 2. Regulate your total load. Not quite sure what this means in the context of a game of soccer / football but in a retirement context it probably means having a number of activities and then being able to balance these over a period of time. I’m happy with this category as well because again I’ve written about the need for a balanced retirement, indeed I’ve written about it on a number of occasions. So I’d expect the candidate for state pension to be able to describe the nature of this balance.

Number 3, Left back (I’m going to stop with the football positions now), Self Regulate learning. Absolutely at the risk of being repetitive the need for continued or life-long learning is very definitely an area I’ve been committed to since I retired. So being able to identify one’s learning goals / priorities and organise them in a balanced way would be vital for any successful applicant. 4. Passionately play the game. Hmm, passionate about being retired? Interesting but I think it does fit into a retirement framework. There’s no doubt that having an area of interest or a hobby or even yes, a passion, has to be a key factor in a satisfying and engaging retirement. So this is in my ‘retirement profile’. 5. Relentlessly pursue performance. I take this to mean being the best possible retired person you can be. You know living every minute to the full, going for your goal, caring about how you dress, what you eat, your health and so on. Sounds pretty important to me so our candidate would get a grilling in this area.

6. Manage relationships. Absolutely, as somebody who, with his increasing grumpiness, is possibly and I only say possibly, becoming more difficult for those around me, Mrs Summerhouse particularly, to live with,  need to pay all possible attention to the quality of my relationships with those around me. Although not if they work for all those companies on my ever-expanding shit list. Those relationships can go screw themselves. But relationships as a whole, yep, you need to be careful of those. 7. Cope with adversity. I’m really getting in to this now, in fact the more I work my way through the team the more relevant these attributes seem to be. This one for the retired person is self-evident. What with matters of health, finance, self esteem, self-image, confidence and courage to try new things and the set-backs that go hand in glove with all of the above, coping with adversity could even be number one on the list if I were prioritising, which I am not.

8. Adapt to new contexts. Yep, this is a definite judgement area. If ever there was a time in a person’s life when they needed the skills / attitudes / thoughts etc. to adapt to a new context then surely retirement would be it. To be able to step outside our comfort zone and get the best out of life (terrible cliché) as it is newly offered to us, has to be a another key retirement skill. But then they all have been so far and only three more to go. Can we make it a 100% relevance? 9. Cope with pressure. I don’t even need to make a case for this, do I? True the pressure of work, being promoted, earning a living, bringing up a family, etc. may, I say may have, passed behind us but there’s always plenty more challenges and stresses to take their place – finances, health and all the others I’ve touched on so far.

10. Vision and prospective control. Now I have to confess I’m not entirely sure what this means but I shall take it to mean something along the lines of having a vision or a long term view of what you want your retirement to ‘look like’. It’s always good to have an eye to the big picture within which to fit the minutae of living, the day to day, hour by hour bits and bobs. I’m going to assume that ‘prospective control’ means being able to take control of your ‘prospects’. As readers of this blog will know I’m a big fan of taking control. Finally on the left wing, sorry back to the football, 10. Cope with success. This is a hell of a one to finish on. For me it feels quite difficult to think in terms of a successful retirement but I guess this says more about me than the category. You can certainly see how it applies in a highly paid footballing context. In retirement terms I find it hard to think of a retirement being so successful that I would struggle to cope with it.

Fortunately I’m up to nearly 1200 words, which gives me licence to stop without providing any answer to this last one. But at the general level I’m not sure I would pass the assessment and hence ‘earn’ my state pension but I wouldn’t mind the above framework being used as a basis for helping me to achieve a fulfilling retirement. In fact I think the categories fit very well to retirement and what’s even more interesting is that a profile developed to assess the likely success of young elite athletes should have so much applicability to people of 60 plus. Must have some deep message for us, not sure what. That’s over 1300 words so enough about retirement assessment for now.

2 Comments
  1. Peter Wilkinson 2 weeks ago

    You did get carried away with this one! An interesting find on the BBC website – it’s truly a wonderful organisation. Creating a different/new identity and need for a balanced life are the ones that stand out. The other categories are a bit sort of “striving”. Good fortune and adequate funds also help of course.

    • Author
      summerhouse 2 weeks ago

      Yes, it’s a bit out there, I was trying to get bit of psychology into it

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