England manager Roy Hodgson confirmed on Tuesday that he planned to use a psychiatrist to help his England squad to prepare for the World Cup scheduled for Brazil in June.
He has invited Dr Steve Peters, who helped Great Britain’s cycling squad at the Olympics and currently with Liverpool, to join the players.
“He is a very famous man in that area,” Hodgson said. “He has got a fantastic record and a CV working in many different sports. We are happy we have got the man we wanted.”
“He is someone who can understand the footballing environment rather than just lecturing to the players,” he added.
Peters’ book, The Chimp Paradox, tries to explain how the human mind operates and how individuals can learn to manage their minds.
The multiple Olympic gold-medallist Victoria Pendleton described Peters as “the most important person in my career’’ while Chris Hoy, Britain’s most successful Olympian, said that “without Steve I don’t think I could have brought home triple gold from Beijing.”
“We have to make sure that all benefits that might help us to win more matches and go further in the tournament are exploited,” said Hodgson.
“He will really come into his own when we are in the tournament and he has time to work with the players rather than the day or two around friendlies.”
Steven Gerrard has worked with Peters at Anfield. “He has helped me a lot from a personal point of view,” Gerrard said.
He helped me with a groin problem in 2010 when I feared for my career. I saw him in a one-on-one situation and I liked his work and continued to see him.
“I feel he can help the players if the players buy into what he is trying to do. He cannot help you do a Cruyff turn or a 40-yard pass better but he can help you learn what goes off inside your head.”