Aston Villa’s sports psychologist Tom Bates has given an insight into the pep talks Steve Bruce’s squad receive.

Bates was recruited from Villa’s Championship rivals Brentford in November after spells working for Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion.

Away from Villa, Bates delivers seminars across the world and has a regular spot on FourFourTwo’s performance series .

“Confidence can make the difference and can be the difference between me performing at my very best and performing ok, averagely,” he says.

“Confidence is a choice, it’s an attitude and like attitude my confidence levels depend upon the way I think feel and believe about myself.

“If I wake up and believe today’s going to be a good day it’s likely that I’ll be right.

 “If I wake up and think that today’s not going to be a good day it’s likely that I’ll be right, you know.

“Whether you think you can or you can’t you’ll be right.”

Bates works closely with manager Bruce, his backroom staff and the players and will be tasked with instilling a positive mentality as Villa challenge for Championship promotion.

Speaking after Bates’ arrival midway through last season, director of football Steve Round said: “Sports psychology and culture is massive now in modern elite sports.

“I did a search nationwide to find the best sports psychologist/performance coach that I could.

“It happened to be Tom – he had worked at West Brom, Bournemouth, Birmingham and he was currently at Brentford so I was really pleased to get him.

“He’s had a massive impact. Not only with the players individually but just the resonance of the training ground – that was important. Confidence is building.”

Watch the video here

Article first appeared in the Birmingham Mail

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