Oilers up their mind game

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

EDMONTON - She was brought in to help out on the mental side of the game.

As famed baseball manager, Yogi Berra, used to say: “Half of the game is 90% mental.”

Kimberley Amirault is the Edmonton Oilers’ newest resource, hired as a performance consultant.

“This is the fourth professional team that I’ve worked with,” said Amirault.

“I’ve worked with the New York Rangers, New York Knicks, Columbus Blue Jackets and now the Edmonton Oilers.

“Really, with all the teams I’ve worked with, it’s a whole variety with performance consulting and helping people be at their peak performance states consistently, and help them be at their highest level.”

Amirault is the director of sports psychology for the Canadian Sports Centre in Calgary. She worked with the Canadian Olympic Committee heading up their sports psychology for the 2010 games in Vancouver. She’s been recently hired to do the same for the 2012 Games in London.

“The initial objective is to make sure she’s available to our players when they need that,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “It’s not one of those things that we’re force-feeding the team at all, it’s completely optional for them.

“For the most part, most athletes nowadays have some type of connection with a mental skills coach. This is no different. All we’re doing is providing that person to them if they feel they need it.”

The Oilers have had sports psychologists in the past.

It’s something the team believes is important to supply if a player is looking for help in that department.

“I do use these people and I have in the past,” Renney said. “I use it more for my group where they might provide anecdotal information that they’re able to come back and say ‘Why do you try this, or give this a try.’ ”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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