Stirling University maths graduate Dr Steve Peters taught for 8 years before becoming a doctor and psychiatrist working with men with severe psychiatric disorders. Now he’s best known as the GB cycling team ‘mind mechanic’ behind the success of Olympians like Victoria Pendleton and Sir Chris Hoy. In this fascinating programme, he sits in the Stark chair and talks to Edi about what’s made him and his elite athletes turn their lives around. There is, he says, a chimp in all of us who has to be managed.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has brought in the psychiatrist in an attempt to improve the mental strength of players and staff at Anfield as they bid for success.
In addition to working with Hoy and Pendleton, he helped Ronnie O’Sullivan before his victory at this year’s World Snooker Championships and was also employed by Craig Bellamy when the forward was at Anfield last season.
Bellamy credited Peters with helping him improve his form through teaching methods that encourage sportspeople to think more rationally under pressure.
Liverpool’s players will be free to choose whether to use his services.
“We have brought in someone who is the top guy in his field, one of the leading guys in the world in what he does,” Rodgers said.
“I see it as a part of the development of the player.
“The modern game is very much about the psychological aspect of it.
“I do lots of technical, tactical and physical training and sometimes what gets bypassed is the mental tuning for players, especially in the modern game at the top level.”
Rodgers is also hoping that Peters will help him as a manager.
“Command can be lonely and it is always good to have other people to turn to when you are trying to lead the club forward,” he explained.
“I have my staff around me and they are outstanding, but it is always nice to have a different set of eyes with different experiences.
“I have always used neurologists, but I took my time when I arrived here to make sure we could get someone who could really help performance.
“This guy is of that level.
“I would stress it is not a psychologist.
“It is neurology.”