'It's powerful' - Harper on Town's use of sports psychology

Rekeem Harper in action against Millwall.

Rekeem Harper says Ipswich Town are reaping the benefits of using a sports psychologist. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

Ipswich Town midfielder Rekeem Harper believes sports psychology sessions are having a positive impact throughout the squad.

The Blues made it five wins from the last eight across all competitions with an eye-catching 4-0 victory at Portsmouth on Tuesday night.

That upturn in form has coincided with the club putting on fortnightly classes for the players to work on the mental aspect of their games.  

“We’ve been doing it for a good couple of months now, going to sessions once every couple of weeks to get a bit of extra fuel," explained Harper.

“We do sessions as a team and then the players then get the option to go one-on-one. I have my own personal psychologist that I already used. 

“You pick up a few habits you can add to your life. It’s made me think about how much your actions are shaped by your thoughts. 

“Being mindful of that allows you to control yourself more. I think it’s powerful."

Town manager Paul Cook has words with Rekeem Harper before his second half introduction.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook hives instructions to Rekeem Harper before his introduction at Lincoln. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller.com

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Asked what sort of things he has taken from the sessions, Harper said: "Let's just say a player has a lack of confidence... It’s all about how positivity is self taught.

“Do you know Amy Cuddy? She’s got a YouTube channel. It’s all about how your posture can affect how you think and feel.  

“Our psychologist asked us all to think of games we’ve had where we got the best out of ourselves. Players noted down their best games and he asked us what the key characteristics were we had that day. He told us that, without knowing, that performance probably came from how we were thinking and how we were feeling. 

"If you spend just 10 seconds thinking positive emotions it can make a big difference. It's really interesting. 

“As a player you’re normally just training and taking on board information about the game. 

“You don’t realise how one bad pass can affect the next pass you do. It’s small details. I think it helps and makes a difference."

Town are back in action on Saturday with a home game against 20th-place Fleetwood Town and subsequently face back-to-back trips to League One high-fliers Plymouth (1st) and Wycombe (3rd).

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