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How England penalty success could be down to breathing guru and Radio 1 DJ as Rice urges stars to ‘manifest’ his methods

ENGLAND’S penalty success could be down a breathing coach who also moonlights as a Radio 1 DJ.

The Three Lions put in a flawless performance from the spot in their quarter-final Euros win over Switzerland.


England have a breathing workshop to thank for their penalties win over Switzerland[/caption]

Stuart Sandeman

Radio 1 DJ Stuart Sandeman is a breathing expert who helped the Three Lions control their nerves[/caption]


He worked with England in the run-up to their quarter-final win[/caption]


Stars like Cole Palmer could be seen gulping in air before their penalty[/caption]

Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Ivan Toney and Trent Alexander-Arnold did their country proud by slotting home all five of England’s penalties.

While Jordan Pickford produced a fine effort to deny Switzerland’s first effort from Manuel Akanji.

The Three Lions’ heroics sees them face Holland on Wednesday evening for a place in Sunday’s final against either Spain or France.

And should England go all the way, Gareth Southgate is likely to buy a thank-you card for breathing specialist Stuart Sandeman. 

The 41-year-old, who also works as a DJ for BBC Radio 1, is a master breathing guru who styles himself as a ‘Breathwork Trainer’.

He jetted out to England’s training base in Germany last week and engaged in a breathing workshop with the 26-man squad to help calm nerves and improve focus.

Sandeman instructed players to breathe in for five seconds and out for the same amount of time “during high pressure moments.”

He explained the technique helps to “let muscles, tissues, nerves and minds reset, so that when it’s time to switch back on, you’re able to perform at your best.”


Speaking before England’s win over Switzerland, and after the last-16 victory against Slovakia, Sandeman said: “There’s no greater indication of the powerful link between breathing and performance than England including breathwork to aid the team’s recovery at Euro 2024 after Sunday’s win.

“I’m humbled that they chose me to lead these sessions.”


Sandeman ran through numerous exercises at England’s training base in Germany[/caption]

Stars were instructed to breathe in for five seconds and release for the same amount of time

Declan Rice reminded pals to use the techniques ahead of the shootout[/caption]

England’s penalty shootout record

THE dreaded penalty shootout.

England’s nemesis at no fewer than EIGHT major tournaments since 1990, from the West Germany heartache at Italia 90 to Wembley woes on the brink of Euro 2020 final glory.

But the perfect shootout win over Switzerland at Euro 2024 gives some reason for optimism…

  • 1990 World Cup semi-final vs WEST GERMANY, 04/07/1990 – LOST 4-3
  • Euro 1996 quarter-final vs SPAIN, 22/06/1996 – WON 4-2
  • Euro 1996 semi-final vs WEST GERMANY, 26/06/1996 – LOST 6-5
  • Friendly vs BELGIUM, 29/05/1998 – LOST 4-3
  • 1998 World Cup last 16 vs ARGENTINA, 30/06/1998 – LOST 4-3
  • Euro 2004 quarter-final vs PORTUGAL, 24/06/2004 – LOST 6-5
  • 2006 World Cup quarter-final vs PORTUGAL, 01/07/2006 – LOST 3-1
  • Euro 2012 quarter-final vs ITALY, 24/06/2012 – LOST 4-2
  • 2018 World Cup last 16 vs COLOMBIA, 03/07/2018 – WON 4-3
  • Nations League third-place play-off vs SWITZERLAND, 09/06/2019 – WON 6-5
  • Euro 2020 final vs ITALY, 11/07/2021 – LOST 3-2
  • Euro 2024 last-16 vs SWITZERLAND, 06/07/24 – WON 5-3
  • OVERALL: Played 12 Won 4, Lost 8

The likes of Palmer and Toney could be seen sucking in the air before their penalties smashed the back of the net.

But it was Declan Rice, who didn’t take a spot-kick, who was seemingly most influenced by Sandeman’s session.

Luke Shaw revealed that Rice reminded teammates about the breathing techniques after 120 minutes, admitting most players’ minds were elsewhere.

He said: “Declan was our speaker, he was calming everyone down and telling them to do their breathing techniques and manifest them. It was needed.”

Meanwhile, Bellingham thanked England coach and former Chelsea star Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for also helping the players remain calm from the spot.

He said: “I was really confident in my preparation, confident in the things I talked through with Hasselbaink, he’s stepped up for us massively.

“It’s the work he does behind closed doors, with the lads being willing to take on that information, that put us in those situations in order to be able to win.”


Jude Bellingham thanked Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for inspiring England’s penalty win[/caption]


Bellingham fired home his spot-kick with aplomb[/caption]

England’s five-point penalty shootout plan

EXPERT football psychologist Professor Geir Jordet has told Gareth Southgate and his players what they can do to give themselves the best chance of victory in any shootouts.

And he has even thrown in a rogue, bold suggestion for the Three Lions manager…


“It’s about planning for the opposition’s penalty takers but also ‘how do we win the psychological game against each opponent?’


“Southgate will have two minutes to influence his players as effectively as possible, show he has a plan and get confidence across.”


“A shootout is really a team performance. Have the goalkeeper walk with the penalty taker into the penalty area to basically create a two-versus-one against the other goalkeeper. Dominate the centre circle, support the players who missed.”


“Have really good, individualised and rehearsed pre-shot routines that are bulletproof and polished so they’re more likely to be able to resist the stress and more likely to score.”


“Practise the shot itself, trying to simulate penalty shootouts in training. Even recreating 20 per cent of a Euros final penalty shootout is going to have a benefit for your performance.”


Jordan Pickford is the No1 but Dean Henderson actually has a far better penalty record – saving 8/22 (36 per cent) compared to Pickford’s 8/62 (13 per cent).

Jordet said: “One could consider making a late substitution for a penalty shootout. I doubt that they dare to do it in case it fails and the pressure is even higher but it would be a very ballsy move.”

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