SWANSEA City have added to their backroom staff by appointing a performance psychologist.
Ian Mitchell has joined Garry Monk's technical team and is already working with the squad during their pre-season tour of America.
Mitchell is a former professional footballer, who played for Hereford before a ten-year spell with Merthyr Tydfil.
He arrives at Swansea after leaving his position as lecturer and director in sports science and psychology at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge," said Mitchell.
"I will be working closely with Garry , the medical and technical staff and the players to optimise preparation and performance.
"There has been a bit of a stigma with psychology in the past because people tend to associate it with mental problems.
"But the game has evolved so much that it is now being introduced more and more to the benefit of individual players and the team as a whole.
"Using psychology during rehabilitation is a typical example as many injured players face a number of highly stressful demands that have the potential to significantly affect their recovery and return to games.
"It's important we help them through that rehabilitation process to restore confidence for their return to full training and a competitive game situation."
Mitchell also works with the Wales national team, and has already met with every member of the Swansea squad to build personnel profiles for each of them.
"With the whole world watching and analysing the Premier League, it can be an unforgiving and pressurised place to be as a footballer. That's why the players have got to be resilient in order to bounce back from mistakes, defeats and to maintain a high level of performance," he said.
"When it gets tough you've got to be determined to get through it. Part of my job is to work towards establishing that mental toughness, confidence, resilience and emotional control to do just that."
Mitchell began his football career as a schoolboy at Chelsea before captaining Wales up to under-18 level and signing professional forms with Hereford.
After two years with the Bulls, he was forced to leave the pro game after suffering a broken leg and serious ligament damage.
He became a prolific striker for Merthyr, where he played more than 300 games
The 43-year-old also gained a PHD and has completed his Uefa A licence.
Mitchell has coached the Wales Victory Shield team for the last two seasons, managed the GB and Wales University squads and also worked with the Swansea academy.
"I think you will see a lot more psychologists becoming involved in top-level football over the next few years," he added.
"I know it is something the Swansea chairman (Huw Jenkins) is keen to develop at the club by integrating what we are doing at first-team level into the Academy system."