Raheem Sterling credits recent form to Dr Steve Peters

Thursday 01 May 2014
Sterling is hoping to be re-united with Dr Steve Peters in Brazil this summer
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Raheem Sterling has given his seal of approval to sports psychologist Dr Steve Peters ahead of England’s trip to the World Cup this summer.

The Liverpool winger is hoping to get the nod from Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson later this month to join the squad for Brazil after an impressive season at Anfield.

Peters will also be with the England team throughout the World Cup campaign, having worked with the Liverpool squad as well as elite athletes such as Olympic gold medalists Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton in the past.

Raheem Sterling

Sterling has been in sparkling form with Liverpool this season

 

And Sterling credits Peters’ advice with leading to an upturn in form for him, as Brendan Rodgers’ side continue to fight for the Premier League title.

"The way he [Peters] works is brilliant," revealed the 19-year-old, whose form since the turn of the year has helped fire Liverpool to the top of the table.

"At first I thought it wasn't for me. On the outside you might think it's complicated, but all the messages are very straightforward.

"He understands the players and the emotional side of the game. What he says really helps you.

"We use a motto 'focus on the ball, focus on the team'. 

"I thought it was going to last 20-25 minutes. So I walked in, sat down and he just said: 'focus on the ball, focus on the team'.

"'Is that it?' I asked him. But it was really important."

Watch the best of Sterling and Under-21 team-mate Wilf Zaha from England training

 


Sterling had been with Gareth Southgate’s England Under-21 squad during the first half of the campaign, helping them in their Euro qualifying quest with a string of eye-catching displays whilst finding opportunities at Anfield a little harder to come by.

But since the turn of the year, the former QPR youngster has become an integral part of the Liverpool team, scoring ten goals in the process and says his confidence and attitude has been boosted by the input of Peters.

"Maybe on the outside people had the impression I've always been really confident," Sterling told the official Liverpool FC magazine.

"But after a good start [to last season] I started looking for easy options rather than taking a chance myself, beating a man or taking a shot on myself.

"I'd stopped being natural, [and doing] all the things that I'd done which got me into the first team in the first place.

"My goal was always to play for Liverpool when I first came here and maybe for a while I thought that goal was achieved because I was one of the lucky ones to do it.

"But you realise that is not enough. There always has to be the next challenge, to achieve things and win things - making your mark.

"From December time, I realised I had to start stamping my personality, running with the ball, running into the box, making goals, scoring goals. Not playing with that barrier, not to be worried about making mistakes."

Sterling grew up just a stone’s throw from Wembley in north London, where England will play their final match on home soil at Wembley before heading off to the World Cup.

And you can be there to see their match with Peru on Friday 30 May by clicking here for tickets.

By Nicholas Veevers