Liverpool players to get mental health advice to help deal with the potential of missing out on title

Everyone associated with Liverpool will be encouraged with reports suggesting the Premier League have every intention of finishing the 2019/20 season.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, there will be no top-flight football in England until at least April 30.

But it seems that, even if the campaign needs to be finished behind closed doors, it WILL be finished.

That, of course, is the intention.

Liverpool would probably accept winning the league title behind closed doors at this point. The Reds are just two wins away from guaranteeing their first ever Premier League title as they command a 25 point lead at the top of the table.

But despite hopes that the season can be finished, it seems the club are still preparing for the worst.

According to the Daily Mail, players are getting help to ease anxiety regarding their titles hopes.

They were told that they “will come out of the other side of this” but that normality will return but they need to be “realistic that this will not be for some time”.

The club’s sports psychologist Lee Richardson has given a presentation advising players how to cope with the current break, including breathing techniques and how to use social media.

The presentation was titled “Mental Health & Well-being” and featured a section titled “Acceptance and Control.”

It states: “What happens with the decision of the Premier League or the direction the virus takes next is out of our control.

“All we can control is our behaviour and our response to the challenge of keeping the most vulnerable safe and minimising infection rates.

“In focussing on the controllable and in accepting that which we cannot control, i.e. Premier League, government response, we give ourselves the best chance of overcoming the psychological challenge of keeping perspective.

“As the manager has said, football is not the most important thing. The health and safety of us all is far more important.”

Players were also advised to “breathe with their bellies” if they become stressed, with an emphasis on using the diaphragm.

Former Chesterfield manager and Watford, Blackburn and Oldham player Richardson recommended beginning every day with a breathing exercise if they feel anxious.

There was also a section on “Managing Isolation” where players were warned about the dangers of boredom and advised to establish daily routines.

They were also told to avoid news and social media where possible and, although retaining a sense of humour is important, they “run the risk of causing upset should they post anything which could be seen as insensitive.”

Richardson was brought to the club back in November to help the players during their title race with Klopp saying of his appointment: “It’s just an add-on for all the things we try to deliver. We try to make sure the boys are in the best hands. With Lee, the good thing is he was a player himself, a manager himself and then he decided to become a sports psychologist.

“It is a really interesting career. He’s a fantastic person, which is important because then I don’t have to convince the boys to talk to him. It’s easy.

“He is a really interesting person and so the boys enjoy that he is around and when you need him, you can use him.”

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