This idea that you “have nothing to prove” needs to be re-evaluated. If this is how you think then you need to re-think your ideas. Every time you step on the pitch you should have something to prove! This applies to all players at all levels of play.
Cico Kranjčar is a gentleman’s football manager. After an injury to one of the players on the opposing team, the ball was kicked out to allow the player to be tended to. Kranjcar’s visiting team gave the ball back to the keeper of the home side in a fair play gesture, but for some reason one of the forwards of his team (yellow jersey) took the ball and tried to score. A penalty was awarded after the keeper had to the bring the player down. Kranjčar then ordered his player to not attempt to score and return the ball to the keeper for an unsportsmanlike and undeserved penalty.
Positions on the field are overrated. When a player is assigned to a central midfield role, for example, he/she will limit the options to their game. The thought process goes something like this: If I’m playing center midfield, well then I can’t go there and I can’t do that. I’m here to suggest that you shouldn’t get so attached to your position. What’s more important is team movement.
In many of our blogs on Goalden, we’ve talked about the lack of a system in North America to develop players that have the calibre required to play at any level in the world. When someone tells me something isn’t good, I like to ask: ‘ok, well compared to what?’ In this particular situation, I am talking about the North American soccer system compared to the European soccer system which, without a doubt, is the best in the world. But what if we’re asking the wrong question? What if we’re comparing it to the wrong system? What if we have the wrong goals? Suddenly, things change…
Canadian author Declan Hill wrote in the Ottawa Citizen regarding the heavily publicized boxing match between Justin Trudeau and Patrick Brazeau which raised money for cancer research. Hill touches on a number of subjects that we see in professional sport and compares the behavior of boxers and soccer players.
“What a lesson for these young people, that if you share, you give up some of yourself for everyone around you, if you care more about your teammates than yourself, it’s amazing what you can accomplish,” Kentucky coach John Calipari after winning the 2012 NCAA national championship.
Canadian journalist, author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the 10,000 rule where he says if you want to become a master in anything then you must practice for 10,000 hours. Now 10,000 hours is a long time and will require a lot of hard work but let’s break this down and look at some professionals who did this. Afterward, it won’t be such a surprise that they became the best in their field.
In an earlier blog, Thought of the day: players are getting dumber, I talked about, well, players getting dumber. Now, I don’t want you to think I’m being primitive, nor do I want you to think I’m generalising, I just want to express my concern as a soccer player for the lack of role models and leaders in the game.
Luis Suarez is a disgrace to football. You’d think after being found guilty of racist remarks and receiving an eight game ban he would put everything behind when he faced Manchester United at Old Trafford. Instead of shaking hands with Man Utd captain Patrice Evra, the recipient of Suarez’s racist remarks, Suarez’s opted to take the cowardly route and not shake hands with Evra thus rekindling soccer racism tensions.
Over the past decade or so, professional soccer leagues have made it a requirement that prior to a games kickoff, the two teams are to walk out together, address the fans in a line, and then shake hands. I always thought it was too theatrical and senseless, really.
The expectations we’ve set for ourselves as a society have become unrealistic. In every aspect of our lives we demand immediate results. “Why the hell won’t this website load faster, I’ve been waiting 8 seconds”; “why haven’t I received your text message yet? It’s been 10 seconds!” Give it a second, it’s sending a signal to space you whining parasite. The same expectations have transferred into the realm of sports. We expect coaches to have immediate results, i.e. lead a team to a championship or nothing. This is not only impossible, but ineffective.