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Germany

National Soccer Team Gets a Shrink

Jürgen Klinsmann, the new coach of Germany's national soccer team, wants his players not only to be in top physical form, but mentally fit as well. He has appointed a team psychologist to help players deal with the pressures of the game in soccer-crazed Germany. Klinsmann has hired Hans-Dieter Hermann of Heidelberg University to exercise the players' minds while bringing in consultants from the United States to train their bodies. Klinsmann, who moved to the US six years ago and commutes to Germany for his coaching job, said he was impressed with the way American sports teams used consultants and university research. While there was some initial grumbling over the new psychological consultant, it has been mostly muted after some high-profile cases of players being sidelined due to depression and burnout. Germany midfielder Sebastian Deisler missed much of last season for Bayern Munich because of his on-and-off battle with depression.