By Patrick Akoto
The Ghana Football Association has engaged the services of sports psychologist Patrick Ofori to counsel the Black Stars.
The newly appointed psychologist will be required to improve the player’s mental toughness and performances services to ensure the team is well-conditioned for competitive matches.
The Ghana Football Association have been pushed to engage the services of the psychologist following the fall-outs from the 2012 African Cup of Nations held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
The team placed a disappointing fourth at the continental showpiece but allegations of the use of ‘Black Power’ by some of the players drew wild public criticism and ridicule.
Serbian trainer Goran Stevanovic cited the use of ‘Black Magic’ (juju) by players against each other as one of the chief reasons why the West African giants failed to win the cup in his official report to the FA.
Authorities have therefore moved quickly to prevent a potential recurrence of the embarrassing situation if the team qualifies to next year’s African Cup of Nations in South Africa.
“In the aftermath of the Nations Cup 2012 in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, we came across some problems whose remedy lay at the time in the appointment of a psychologist. Ghana FA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi said
“And so we thought that issues of superstition, self-confidence, beliefs and other thoughts that affected the team could be settled or resolved through the appointment of a sports psychologist.
He added: “We’ve re realized that our team doesn’t do well in away matches as compared to competitive matches and the problem is more pronounced during friendly matches.
“We think that the trend must change and that the challenge is psychologically in nature.”
Ofori has over 3 years of professional experience in Human Resource Management and Development and Applied Sports Psychology.
Since 2006 he has concentrated on designing and implementing Human Resource Management (HRM) Systems in both commercial and non-commercial organizations, particularly in the areas of Manpower Planning, Training and Development.
He holds a MSc. Degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Loughborough University and a BA in Psychology with Sociology from University of Ghana, Legon.
In 2009 he was awarded Commonwealth Scholarship for his PhD at Aberystwyth University.