Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers may have to wait until January before he can make additions to his depleted playing squad, however the Anfield boss has managed to confirm one significant signature before the New Year.
Dr Steve Peters, the renowned sports psychiatrist who helped Great Britain’s Cycling team to their impressive medal haul in the summer, is the latest addition to Rodgers’ backroom staff.
Peters part-time consultancy role will focus on helping players prepare for the psychological demands of elite sport.
He said: “When it comes to the mind a lot of people don’t know what’s going on.
“We often act very emotionally and behave incorrectly or inappropriately and afterwards regret it. So I try to explain to people simply that if you consider the mind in terms of science we have two thinking brains the human and the inner chimp.”
Peters’ stressed that the very best athletes he has worked with have developed methods to manage their inner ‘chimp’, which Peters’ explains is the emotional and irrational part of the brain triggered by anxiety and fear. Achieving this grants access to the mind’s ‘computer’ which helps sports people perform with a greater awareness.
However, the man cited by gold medalists Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton stressed to the 600 coaches in attendance at the four-day event, that any change and success in performance takes time.
Peters added: “You don’t get these skills in a day, it may take 12 months or two years. These are hard skills to get. It’s a bit like getting very fit, it doesn’t happen in a week."
Peters’ isn’t new to football. Cardiff City’s Craig Bellamy is one of the many decorated sports people Peters has worked alongside. Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan is another.
“When I worked with Craig Bellamy he said 'I don’t want to be aggressive on the pitch'. But he believed it was the only way he would be able to perform.
“Craig is a very astute guy and he said that isn’t what he wanted and he wasn’t sure it was true. So we kicked those beliefs out and tidied up the ‘computer’.
“I don’t go in there and tell people. I ask them ‘what’s happening and do you want to change it?' We work as a team and then I work with them to get them to where they want to be.”
Dr Steve Peters presented at both The FA Level One and Two FA Licensed Coaches’ Club conference over the weekend and at today’s conference for UEFA B, A and UEFA Pro-Licence holders.
The FA Licensed Coaches’ Club conference was held at St.George’s Park, The FA’s home of Coach Education.
To join The FA Licensed Coaches’ Club click here