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Stale Solbakken focuses on mind games

Sport | Published:

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

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.

Individual

"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.

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"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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