Ollie Watkins reveals why he has therapy before and after Aston Villa games

Ollie Watkins will play for England at Euro 2024 this summer
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

Ollie Watkins has revealed he uses a life coach before and after Aston Villa games to offload any worries he has.

The striker believes regular therapy has played a key role in his remarkable form over the last 20 months. He bagged 19 to-flight goals last season - which equals a Premier League record for any Villa player - to help fire the club to Champions League.

Speaking to the High Performance Podcast, Watkins said: "I make sure going into the game I’ve got everything off my chest. I speak to a life coach. Since I’ve been working with him, he’s definitely helped me. If there’s anything I’m hanging on to, anything that I need to get off my chest maybe before going to the game so I can just focus on that and leave that aside.

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"Just to perform to the best of my ability and bring the best version of myself on that day. I feel like it’s the best investment I’ve made, investing into myself, investing into my mindset definitely made me become a better player.

"If I haven’t scored or if I’ve scored three goals, I’ll still speak to him. I still speak to him before a game and after games, to make sure I debrief on everything and then I can move on to the next game. And since he came in, it’s helped me a lot.”

Watkins added: "Sometimes I just need to call him for a chat and just to check in and sometimes pick his brains on things. I never feel like I want to reach out just when I need something. He’s very, he’s very blunt. I remember I scored a hat-trick after Brighton and he said like ‘well done, but it doesn’t mean anything’.

"And he’s right. It doesn’t because I’ve still got the next game to perform in. You need to move on to the next. But also when I’ve had a bad game, but that doesn’t mean anything. He says ‘you’ve got the next game to put it right’.

"I think the mind is probably the most powerful thing. People train every day physically in the gym, but it takes a lot to change your mindset.

"Belief was one thing that maybe was holding me back. You need to have that bit of arrogance, you know that self-belief that no-one’s going to stop you.

"I’d say mindset is the most important thing. Your brain can tell you a lot of things. You kind of can trick your brain into believing different things. It did hinder my performance, but I feel like it’s got me where I am today. I put pressure on myself, but not as much as I used to."

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