Extremely important for the EM team: Phantom Prince is now in demand as a psychologist

Extremely important for the EM team
Phantom Prince is now in demand as a psychologist

After a long silence, Birgit Prinz speaks from the background. The record national player gives insights into her role as sports psychologist for the women’s national team. National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg appreciates the services of the former top scorer immensely.

Birgit Prinz is a phantom. At least for the public. As big as the hype about the German women’s soccer team is before the upcoming European Championship and as important as her job as a team psychologist: the record national player works in the background – and prefers to let her actions speak for themselves. “It’s just not about me anymore,” said Prinz in her first major interview in a long time. For them, as the 44-year-old pointed out in an interview with the association’s media, “it’s clearly about our players”. As a sports psychologist, she is “a building block in this puzzle, but not at the forefront”.

National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, who once played with Prinz in the national team and won the European Championship title in 1995 and 1997, appreciates the services of the former top scorer immensely. “Birgit is extremely important for everyone in the team,” she said recently: “Everyone can benefit from her style and experience. Birgit is an absolute added value for the whole group and for the DFB.”

After 214 international matches, her wealth of experience is undoubtedly plentiful: for years it was Prinz who led the DFB team as captain. With the three-time world footballer at the helm, Germany rose to become a women’s football superpower and conquered the World Cup throne in 2003 and 2007. “I can have conversations with her that I can’t have with anyone else,” says Voss-Tecklenburg. Three years ago, she took the psychologist Prinz, who has been working in this area at TSG Hoffenheim since 2012, to the support team.

“I try to get the mood and support where I notice something,” said Prinz in an interview published on Friday about the interaction with the coaches. Why is the role of a sports psychologist important? “Since all the teams at the European Championships are very well trained in terms of football and tactics, and are athletic, the components on the psychological level are becoming increasingly important,” explains Prinz, “because the little things make the difference.”

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