Stale Solbakken focuses on mind games

Stale Solbakken today revealed how Wolves are turning to mind games to breed the winning mentality.

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Performance psychologist David Young has been working at all levels of the club since the start of pre-season. Young, who has a variety of clients including the England and Wales Cricket Board, England Squash and Sussex County Cricket Club, spends one or two days a week working with the first-team squad and effectively replaces sports therapist Bill Stevens, who left a year ago. “We’re saying we need to create a winning mentality but that’s a very easy thing to say,” said Molineux manager Solbakken.

“What does it mean? Players must know what that means and we’re working professionally with that now.

“David Young has come in with us (the first team) after working with the club for a while.

“I’m always very suspicious about these kinds of people coming in and saying ‘this victory is down to me!’ or that we have to do something else because we lost a game.

“But this guy has really impressed me. I tested him for quite a few weeks to see if he’s really useful and he is very useful. He understands the game and he understands sport and athletes, so he will help us for a day or two a week.


“When you have 24-26 players, they all have different ways of dealing with pressure and feelings.

“It’s very important the players have a professional way of doing that in the early stages, so they don’t wait until it’s a crisis or becomes a challenge so big that you can’t deal with it.

“It’s best to address it when you’re starting something new.”

Solbakken does not put players under pressure to see Young and stressed it was up to the individual.

“He’s there for whoever wants him – some players want to see him, others don’t, but they shouldn’t be pressured into seeing him if they don’t want to,” said the boss.

“You can’t go into a dressing room and say ‘I want to create a winning mentality’. There has to be an idea behind it.

“I sometimes put a group of players in there for them to find out what a winning mentality is.”

n Wolves left-back Jamie Reckord, 20, has joined League One side Coventry on a 93-day loan.

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Comments for: "Stale Solbakken focuses on mind games"


Could be a good move. Be interesting to see if this makes any difference.


Someone was calling for the reinstatement of a sports psychologist - and that has been done. Good to see that Stale has an open mind to this aspect of football management.


Well done Stale... Developing mental strength in the modern game is vital among players these days. Everyone faces a challenge to thier ability through tough times learning new cognitive techniques/strategies to overcome this as quickly as possible is the way to recover and grow stronger.. becoming a better player/team through embracing adversity. Simples!

Cornish Wolf

Do you think he could help me creat a winning mentality when i'm filling out my lotto ticket??

Up The Wolves


Alas, some modern thinking and mentallity being brought into the club.

Although Mick McCarthy had some success at the club, you can't argue that his way of thinking and methods were ancient and 'old school'!

You can take McCarthy out the club, now we need to take McCarthy out of the players (or his way of thinking).

Up the Wolves!!!


Saft as it sounds, maybe part of our reasons for our collapse last year after a reasonable start was this rather than just blaming McCarthy...

Just saying like.

dave lane

let him have a day with moxey to change his mindset to actually spending money on defence.


“Talking about promotion is stupid" says Solbakken mmm, if you talk negative like that around the players, you will fulfill your own prophecy. Talk about staying in the championship is stupid, we as a group should turn over every leaf in our attempt to get promoted.

1959 WOLF

Stale certainly seems to have more ideas than the last incompetent and sidekick.

Whisper Wolf

Stale is bringing in the mind benders now. He is like our very own "Fergie" with his mind games.

Every body knows that football is played with the feet. Hence the locker room saying "He's got two good feet on him" or the classic "we need a left footer to balance the mid field". What a lot of the punter's don't realise is (the sort of people that write rubbish on here) is that football is often a game of the head (Just see how much we miss fletcher's heading ability now). This can often result in a sort of vertigo that affects performance on the pitch.

What this head shrinker can do is reverse that trend and maybe some of the fans will realise that football requires a lot of thought not just brute force. If we all combine our mind energy in a way advised by experts such as David Ike or Uri Geller istead of Booing all match long, even when we're winning (against Ipswich) we may put 6 past the posh

Cheers fans


Brilliant, this bloke Staale will leave no stone unturned in his quest to make our famous old club great again. All you doubters just sit back watch and wait, i said before and i will say again, i am going to give this guy all the time he wants, we should learn from Man U look what they have done since giving Fergie time. I have said this before as well, it's in our DNA to be champions all it needs is right man in charge, Staales that man. COME ON YOU WOLVES.

Rafael Villazan

I'm a fan of Sussex CCC and they are a team who have definitely over-achieved against bigger and better resouced teams over the last 10 years. They focus on each individual and understanding what really motivates and inspires them combined with specific match by match targets. If you know your cricket, you'll know that over all, Sussex have arguably been the most successful team of the last 10 years, since they decided to aim to be the most forward thinking professional county club. This chap comes with a good pedigree and I'm pleased to see Wolves thinking imaginatively and creatively in their bid to become a different sort of club.

Manic Depressive Wolf

Full marks for this Stale, they've needed a bit of therapy for a few years now. MM's old school approach of "pull yourselves together and put in a shift" just doesn't cut it in the modern age of angst-ridden defenders and strikers with goalscorer's block. Let's hope that this ushers in a new era of sophistication in our approach to things on and off the pitch.


Deja vu again....


April 06, 2012 at 11.18pm

Do Wolves have the services of a sports psychologist? Sports psychologist Gary Leboff wrote an interesting article on Wolves ailments recently and suggested that many teams need a change of routine in March after a long season. He ended:

"Wolves take note: you're not down yet, I've helped save clubs in far worse situations, one of them only last season. Teams that turn their fortunes around don't trust to hope or faith, let alone Lady Luck.

The catalyst for success is action. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: that much is perfectly true. But if looks broke, plays broke and appears destined for the Championship, the time for hesitation is over. Break the normal routines and do something different.”

Bring in Paul and/or Gary Mr Morgan, what have you got to lose? (Well, about £24M if you do nothing.)

Better late than never!


4th Generation Wolves STH


Wonder what Billy Wright would have thought about it?


It was me SolentWolves, ever since we got rid of the Sports Psychologist under MM the team seemed to lose their way and in the end we got relegated. Glad they've taken the decision to get one back on board


Anyone who sees a psychologist wants their head examined...

Steve Ralph


He seems to no what he is doing and the brand of football is exiting to watch so long may he rein.

wanderer in eire

In STALE we trust.