Do Some Irons Need A Shrink?

Mental health, particularly among young men, is a major public health issue that thankfully is now receiving the attention it should have received years ago. We at the Org do all we can to support various charities that assist people who literally have nowhere else to turn, but we are not talking about the cognitive areas of breakdown in this article.

Bearing in mind West Ham United is a multi Million or Billion, if you calculate the figures using a six year rolling accumulation, global business with a huge investment in football players who are of enormous value, the need for some sort of professional psychological guidance would seem a matter of paramount importance.

At both Preston and Everton, David Moyes worked with Michael Finnigan, who runs the performance psychology consultancy which helped Jimmy White move from 40th to 5th in the world snooker rankings at the age of 37.

However Moyes does not appear to have used Finningan’s services at West Ham, he has embraced the concept of a specialist ‘player care’ department, supporting squad members in all aspects of their life away from the training ground but seems to lack the additional support that is increasingly needed. Hammers’ former Head of Player Care, Hugo Scheckter, has described Moyes as the ‘best manager’ he has worked with, but confirmed that he has no knowledge of a professional sports psychologist being currently in place.

In keeping with their Premier League rivals, West Ham ensure all Academy players have access to a qualified psychologist, with Lori Hedman-Nice providing psychological support across U-18 and U-23 teams. What about the first team? If Hugo Scheckter's comments are correct, surely the club must act to fill the void.

Andriy Yarmolenko is a classic example of a player who needs the sort of MOTIVATION that cannot be provided by a rollicking from Chicken Kiev or Psycho, what Yarmo needs is for someone to get inside his head and unlock the player who he becomes when donning the shirt of the Ukraine National Team.

Perhaps the lack of availability of a 'Shrink' is due to the many different languages spoken by the squad, finding a Sports Phycologist who speaks fluent Ukrainian isn't easy, but it's NOT impossible either!-LN


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