VfL Bochum 1848’s Talentwerk academy is continuing its cooperation with the Faculty of Sports Science at Ruhr University Bochum (RUB). For at least two more years, until 2024, the blue and white junior department will receive support in the non-sporting area. Sports psychologist Annika Hof, for example, will be joined by Asja Kiel, a new colleague from RUB. Prof. Dr. Michael Kellmann, head of the sports psychology department, will continue to act in an advisory capacity.

The aim of the cooperation is to support both players and coaches in their daily work. The aim is to promote the personality and performance of the young talents in the best possible way, adapted to their age. In the basic area, the focus is on team-building measures. With increasing age, the topics then become more individual.

Psychologist Hof zum Berge, who has already been working as a sports psychologist for the youth department for three years, will become a full-time employee at VfL on July 1, 2022, and therefore take over the sports psychology management in the talent department. "I am delighted to remain with VfL after my time at the university. Continuity is the most important thing, I've seen that here in the past. You have to be there for the guys. They have to know that they can confide in you and also come to you informally," says Hof zum Berge.

Regarding the continuation of the cooperation with the Ruhr University Bochum, she says: "What's special about the cooperation with the RUB is that you're up close and personal and can work with the boys in a very transparent way. It's nice to have both personnel support with Asja Kiel and to continue to have access to the university's resources. The fact that the association has placed its trust in me and that I can continue to work with the boys makes me all the more happy, of course. We can now profitably continue the work we have already started and build on the relationship of trust that already exists. Everyone knows that they can entrust things to us sports psychologists - whether players, coaches or other staff members."

Prof. Dr. Kellmann, who will continue to act as a contact person in the background, welcomes the continued cooperation: "We will continue a good, long-standing cooperation - with an increase in personnel. We have been cooperating well with Talentwerk for years, and continuity is extremely important. In addition to the contract for sports psychological support, all other joint projects will of course continue informally."

Asja Kiel, who will provide sports psychological support to Talentwerk in the future, can hardly wait for her work to start: "I'm really looking forward to the new challenge and working with Annika Hof on the mountain. I want to work with the boys, provide them with sports psychology support and simply be part of the team. When VfL plays, a wave of enthusiasm goes through the city. Working with the boys early on and encouraging them is something I think is super important."

U19 coach Heiko Butscher also sees enormous added value in the cooperation with the RUB: "The sports psychology support is a very important building block for the development of the young players. The cooperation with Ruhr-Universität Bochum is nice and important because it is sustainable and continuous. We are looking forward to further cooperation and that we can benefit from each other. It's a lot about trust. We have to fill that with life."

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