QPR v Barnsley - Jacob Brown mentally stronger for the back nine

Positive: Barnsley's Jacob Brown. Picture: Dean AtkinsPositive: Barnsley's Jacob Brown. Picture: Dean Atkins
Positive: Barnsley's Jacob Brown. Picture: Dean Atkins
GIVEN the amount of energy he expended during the first seven months of the Championship season, it should surprise no-one that Jacob Brown has been similarly active in lockdown.

Alongside fitness work, his preparation for the game’s resumption has focused on developing a stronger mentality, with the Barnsley forward hitting the books during the game’s recess.

As a result, a more confident and less pessimistic person will enter the field of play, starting at QPR today.

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Alongside reading self-improvement books, Brown has also watched the inspirational The Last Dance sporting mini-series and is part way through a documentary box-set chronicling the career of golfing great Tiger Woods.

Barnsley manager Gerhard Struber. Picture: Bradley Collyer/PABarnsley manager Gerhard Struber. Picture: Bradley Collyer/PA
Barnsley manager Gerhard Struber. Picture: Bradley Collyer/PA

But for the forward, the main back nine he is preoccupied with begins at Loftus Road, the first of nine remaining league games in 2019-20.

Brown said: “I had a good rest when the break first came, but I definitely feel I have used the (overall) break to improve myself as person as well.

“I’ve been working on my mental strength and feel a lot more confident in myself in training, even though it is only training.

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“I am looking forward to the games being back because I (will) feel a lot better in myself in the games ahead.

“A book I have been reading is called The Chimp Paradox, which is all about mind management and using negatives to turn them into a positive and trying not to beat myself up.

“In previous seasons, whenever something bad has happened, I have made it last longer than it should do and I have always dwelt on negatives.

“Now I am learning that you cannot change things that have happened before in your career and you just have to do what you can to improve and help yourself.”

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Brown may have last season’s promotion on his CV, but he insists that securing safety for Barnsley would eclipse the highs of 2018-19.

He added: “Given how difficult this league is, staying up would be a massive achievement. Last season was amazing, but for me personally, staying up would be bigger.

“From the beginning of the season, everyone will have been saying: ‘Barnsley will go straight back down’. People are going to have those options and you have either got to ignore it or just use it as motivation.

“We will give it a good go and, hopefully, prove people wrong.”

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