A recipe for success

Elite sports performers from Rainhill High School were given an insight into what it takes to reach the top in their respective sports – at a sports performance day at Liverpool Football Club’s Academy training facility.

Organised by Liverpool FC, the programme started with an introduction into sports psychology by Yvonne Ryan, a sports psychologist from Chimp Management, a company that provides psychological support for Liverpool FC and the England football team, as well as British cycling sensations Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.

Yvonne taught the 10 students, who compete either at national or international level in their respective sports, the importance of mental preparation and how to control emotions such as their ‘inner chimp’ to prevent them from making bad decisions during sport.

After being able to watch a competitive match between the Liverpool FC U18s and U21s, the pupils were treated to the players’ lunch, then moved on to afternoon talks which covered issues such as how to reduce the chance of injury and the importance of sports science and nutrition.

The students that attended the sports performance day are part of the unique Elite Performers Programme at Rainhill High School which enables them to succeed in their chosen sport as well as achieving excellent GCSE and A-level results.

Anya Watters, a Year 8 footballer who plays for Everton, said: “I really enjoyed the day and found the nutrition and sports science talk about growth spurts really useful.

“It reassures me that not performing during a growth spurt is normal and nothing to worry about.”

Owen Groom, a Year 7 cricketer for Lancashire added: “It was interesting to see how advanced the science side of sport is now,  and I found the mental preparation methods particularly helpful because sometimes when I play cricket I can get a bit angry, but now I’m able to control my ‘inner chimp.’”

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