Managers, officials and key stakeholders in women’s football in Ghana have been told to take sports nutrition and psychology seriously as these will help develop the game in Ghana and help the country to achieve greater success in the international arena.
The advice came from Dr Kweku Laast, a sports health expert, at a seminar in Accra for officials from Ghana’s women football teams.
The seminar was organized by Betway Ghana in collaboration with the Ghana League Club’s Association (GHALCA) as part of the company’s Betway Up programme which seeks to uplift and support sports teams in Ghana.
Speaking on the theme of sports science and nutrition, Dr Kweku Laast, said sleep, for example, is sometimes taken for granted but is very necessary for success in all sporting endeavours.
He advised team managers to provide for their players’ nutritional needs, especially those on national assignments. He advised that teams on international assignments should travel with their own food supplies as meals served in foreign lands may affect performance.
“They can beat you intentionally,” he said. “They can sabotage you by giving you the wrong [food]. And you won’t do well on the field.”
Dr Laast further urged team managers to take the mental health of their players seriously, stressing that psychology and good nutrition will bring success to teams.
“Everything starts from the mind. The rest of it doesn’t matter if [the mind] is wrong. If you start out with a mental edge, you’ve won,” he said.
Other speakers at the event included Mercy Tagoe, coach of the Black Queens, the national women’s football team and Desiree Ellis, coach of the South African national women’s football team.
Madam Tagoe, speaking on work-life balance encouraged women players to strive to live in harmony with their family members so they can count on them for support. She urged them to also cherish their involvement in women’s football and aim for the highest levels in the game with passion.
“Love what you do,” she said. “If you don’t love what you do, I don’t think you can get to where you are aiming at. You need discipline, focus, punctuality and organization.”
For her part, Madam Ellis urged the women players to use their inner strength to achieve greater success. “Being a woman is the most difficult thing to do,” she said.
“You can’t change what’s going on around you until you start changing what’s going on within you because you can’t have anybody and nobody can see who you are if you haven’t changed what’s going on within you.”
At the end of the seminar, Betway presented assorted sporting kits, including balls and training equipment, to the women’s football teams.
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