Acknowledge that luck is a factor of success, though work as it isn’t. If you count on it, you’ve already prepared an excuse to your failure. Luka Elsner
Archive for the ‘Will of steel’ Category
In the 4th century BC, there was a Greek painter named Apelles. Even though there is almost no painting remaining from him, we know that he was one the best Greek artists from the Ancient time thanks to the work of Pliny the Elder, a roman author, who left us the story of Apelles in his Encyclopedic work Naturalis Historiae.
Soccer and Greek painters? Please … but still.
Apelles left us something of immense value. He didn’t leave us a masterpiece, he left us words: Nulla dies sine linea – Not a day without a line drawn.
Apelles was known for his diligence at practicing his art every day. Every single day he took his brushes and worked, touching and retouching his paintings in the studio where Alexander the Great had been posing. See the analogy yet?
Talent is in the work. Talent shows itself to the one who, like an obsessed man, constantly thinks about ways to be better at the end of the day. To the one who thinks that you can always improve yourself. To the one who has no problem throwing away his work and start from scratch if he isn’t pleased with what he did. To the one who doesn’t satisfy with the praise when he knows that he wasn’t good. To the one who is simply true to himself.
I watch new generations of people who are arriving. They all DEMAND to be placed as Generals when they never even fought a battle, when they were never hurt in the fight, when they never sensed fear on the field.
They don’t understand that there is no elevator to success. There are only stairs. One by one. Day by day.
Not a day without a line drawn
Tags: competitive attitude, determination, hatred of losing
I was shopping in the Newly opened Adidas Shop in my city – writing an article was the last thing on my mind – when I saw it!
The t-shirt with the quote ”Nice guys finish last” printed on it. I knew right away that I had to write something about this.
You may have incredible talent. You may run a 100m in 11 seconds. You may have C.Ronaldo’s shooting power or Beckham’s crossing. If you aren’t mean on the field, you’ll never going to make it. Why? Because you are not alone on the field, that’s why. Because there are 20 guys who want to be better than you during the practice. Because there are 11 guys who want to beat you during the game, and none of them gives a damn about you. They will bite off your ear if the referee doesn’t see it. They are making money when they beat you, they win trophies when they beat you, they make their family live better when they beat you. THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU, THEY WILL TAKE EVERYTHING FROM YOU.
Still want to be nice on the field ?
Let me tell you that professional soccer isn’t just a fun game. It’s a job. If you are weak, people will walk all over you without noticing you are on the floor. If you are good, they will try anything to get you down of your throne (remember what kind of treatment received Maradona or Pele during games?). Be a nice guy … the moment you leave the field. Be nice in the dressing room, be nice at home or to your girlfriend. Just don’t care about others when they do not care about you.
Mike Margolies, a sport psychologist and author of the book The athlete within you, explains that an athlete has to have FURY in order to make it to the top. I love the concept of Fury because it describes perfectly the aggressive and competitive attitude, the determination, the hatred of losing that a player must have to progress and win games. This is a mental aptitude that is very easy to see when you look at someone during practice. I can tell you within 30 minutes of game if he has it or not. Does he go all the way when fighting for the ball or does he look out for his legs to prevent being hurt? Does he make a full sprint when trying to recover a ball that is likely to go out of the limits? Does he care when his team loses a game?
Many players think that coaches don’t see those things, that they can hide all day long. Those are the guys that you will hear saying ” I don’t play because coach doesn’t like me” (funny he didn’t play either with the three other coaches he had before). Cowards excuses if you ask me….
It all comes down to one simple question: DO YOU REALLY WANT IT?
If you do, work on your weaknesses. If you are not strong when fighting for the ball, stop thinking about the other guy, think only about the ball. Don’t think about the consequences, think only about giving your maximum power to win the ball. You don’t know who the other guy is, you just know that you want the ball to be in your possession. And, if it’s not enough, find a way. I don’t know, take a 2-months boxing class where you will learn how to take hits for example. FIND A WAY. Or go and play other sports … like Tennis maybe. Or not because the guy will kick your ass anyway, just that he will do it from a distance…
BE A MAN. FIGHT FOR IT. DON’T TALK ABOUT IT, BE ABOUT It !
The coaching legend Vince Lombardi: Winning is a habit
Rocky 6: how much you can take and keep moving forward
Any given sunday: …or, we can fight our way back
Rudy: You don’t have to prove nothing to nobody except yourself
Jordan: I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life…and that is why… I succeeded
Movie 300: Give them nothing, but take from them…everything
Tags: defeat and victory, pain of defeat
Victory is fleeting. Losing is forever. Billie Jean King
There is a secret that only a true athlete, the one that has faced the pressure of competition, knows. When you win something (a single game or a big trophy), it gives you satisfaction, no doubt about that. But I firmly believe that a true champion mentality is made of a hatred of the defeat. Because losing an important event is heavy. It stays with you, for a long time. If you’re a true competitor, it leaves a strong mark, you feel awful. It’s not the usual job that allows you to clear your mind as soon as you are out of the office. It’s depressing and it’s with you 24 hours a day. You don’t escape from defeat easily. I read the biography of Andre Agassi, and he said something like that:
”I don’t feel that Wimbledon has changed me. I feel, in fact, as if I’ve been let in on a dirty little secret: winning changes nothing. Now that I’ve won a slam, I know something that very few people on earth are permitted to know. A win doesn’t feel as good as a loss feels bad, and the good feeling doesn’t last as long as the bad. Not even close.”
They all say the same thing at one point of their careers. The victory is weightless, it’s gone the next morning. I experienced it myself a few times. It’s about surviving the defeat and fighting against it the next time. Eric Cantona, the King of Manchester United, said: ”I don’t play against a particular team. I play against the idea of losing.”
The moments in the dressing room are depressing when you experience defeat at a higher level. But the pain is here to teach you something and to give you the desire to battle. This bad feeling gives you the motivation to train harder, to overcome your limits. Because you don’t want that burden ever again. Michael Jordan gives us an insight about this feeling. That’s how he remembers the fact that he didn’t make the sophomore team the first time: ”The disappointment was so deep, like a cut, it struck a fire in me to make sure that I never endure that type of pain again.” It struck a fire! If you remember one thing in this article, remember this…
I hate losing more than I love winning. Moneyball movie quote
You want to make it as a pro player? Be ready to sweat, be ready to give everything, prepare to be ALL IN. The life of a young soccer player is and MUST be dictated by the needs of the game. Attend numerous team trainings, commit to individual sessions, rest when others have fun, deal with pressure,.. it takes a lot when you’re young to get that discipline !
In the light of what I’ve said, I will very briefly introduce you a study on Practice instruction and skill acquisition that was presented during the World Congress on Science and Soccer in Japan. The authors of the presentation are Williams and Mark.
They outlined the importance of practice in Elite player development. For example, Elite players from England Soccer academies have, by the age of 16, already accumulated around 7000 hours of practice.
Now let’s see the practice history of a 16 year old player member of an elite academy and on a path to become a professional:
Here you have a strong fact saying that it’s not enough to have a dream. 18 hours a week. More than 2 hours and a half EACH DAY. It takes a lot of dedication and time to get a shot at the professional level.
And once again, skills are acquired. It’s the practice that makes the player !
Take a look at the whole presentation:
Tags: soccer motivation excuses success
”Excuses are wonderful, aren’t they? Once you’ve got a good one, you can hide behind it for years. Recognize excuses for what they are, delete them, and turn your problems into opportunities.” Pat O’Bryan
”Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I led you to believe it was easy when it wasn’t. Maybe I made you think my highlights started at the free throw line, and not in the gym. Maybe I made you think that every shot I took was a game winner, that my game was built on flash and not fire, maybe it’s my fault that you didn’t see that failure gave me strenght, that my pain was my motivation, maybe I led you to believe that basketball was a god given gift and not something I worked for every single day of my life, maybe I destroyed the game, or maybe, you’re just making excuses… ” Michael Jordan
One of the most important step you need to take when you’re starting a career as an athlete is erasing the word Excuses from your vocabulary. Nowadays, men have a tendancy to find external reasons to their failure. They’re all full of good intentions, they all say ” Tomorrow, I’m going to do this or that”. That’s easy. But when tomorrow comes, there’s nobody left because when you need to take intentions and transform them into action, into real work then only a few ”warriors” remain.
From that inability to produce actual work comes the process of making excuses. The famous ”I couldn’t do it, I didn’t get the chance”. It’s the easy way out to think that you’re not responsible for your own failure. In sports, it’s the same. ” I didn’t play well because the tactic our coach used was bad” or ” I didn’t make the team because the coach doesn’t like me”
There is only one truth here. YOU, and only you, are responsible of the perfomance you produce on the field. And if you perform well at training, I don’t know many coaches that would put a player on the bench if he helps the team to play better. They are not crazy, they will use everybody who can help them win games.
When defeat comes, that’s where we see the real personalities. That’s when we can separate the true athletes from the ”fake” players who always find an excuse. The guy who is able to analyze his game and say ” I was bad because I did something wrong in my preparation or I didn’t train enough” is the one who bill be a winner at the end of the road. When things go wrong, remember that work if always a refuge !
Don’t compare to others, don’t judge others. Judge yourself, don’t be afraid to tell yourself that you made mistakes during the game. You need to give your best every single practice, every single game. If what you gave today was not enough, you’ll give more tomorrow. Success doesn’t come to you…you go to it ! Marva Collins
” The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses—behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” Muhammad Ali
On the road to success, searching shortcuts will always be unsuccessful. You think that just because you train quietly, without ever feeling pain, always staying in your comfort zone and telling yourself ”It’s all right I am training”, that someday somebody’s is going to come and give you a gold medal. Good advice: wake up. Nothing is easy, nothing is offered, friendly hands are rarely stretched out. Always keep in mind that people like you, there are thousands. Thousands who train, who wish to succeed. We must do more than the others, and keep in mind that there’s no easy way out.
All the great champions are tireless warriors going to battle every day on their training ground, repeating thousands and thousands of times the same gestures to acquire the best technical, tactical and mental abilities, that the day of the event will make the difference. And the history of every great athlete is built around a single word: WORK. See how Jean Fernandez (French coach) talks about the young Zinedine Zidane when he was at the training center of AS Cannes “All free afternoons, all the players went to the movies, go shopping or see their friends, Zidane, He always came to knock on my office door to ask for a ball. Then, he went by himself on the field or in front of a wall. It is true that he had the talent to start with, but he was mostly a big worker, he has always done more than others “ Zidane explains it : ” When we are young and aspire to join the team first, what can we do? We try to give everything we have. So yes, I was a big hard worker “
What a great lesson for us all. If a player so talented had to provide so much effort to reach the top, we can see how long is the road to reach your goals.
… And what is battle today is victory tomorrow.
History repeats itself for another undisputed master of the sport. Michael Jordan.One of his former coaches talks bout the incredible commitment that this icon of basketball demonstrated: ” He would go to J.V. practice and train, and then he’d go to varsity practice.We’d play ball games,and after the games were over, he’d run what we called “suicides” or line drills…he’d run those by himself.’’ His coach at the University of North Carolina can only confirm the amount of work that this great champion, a role model for an entire generation, provided to become the best: ” I just maveled at his work habits even then.With his competitiveness to go with all that dedication,you know, it was something to see .”
At the end, we are all amazed by the quasi-divine actions that these great athletes perform in competition – because, for us naive viewers, in such perfection, the hand of God must be in for something – but only the athletes themselves know what they endured in their training session for many years to master their game. One of the remarks made by Tiger Woods about a golfer realizes the difficultys to perceive the real amount of work it takes to become an athlete out of the ordinary: “Her focus, her determination, her preparation over the winter months … people do not realize how hard she works. She did not get to this level by just hopping she could play well. “
And again, we must return to basics : turn a will, a belief in real actions. You are like painters: a good picture stands out in your imagination, you must now take your instruments, mixing colors and take the time to make the painting, completing the work with every brush stroke. Commit yourself to make your dream come to life. But keep in mind that time is short, that every day counts and that the temptations are great as the modern world has everything to distract you, easy life is promised to you at every corner. You know by now, those promises are never kept…
Gerry Cooney said about it: ” You have a small period of time when you can perfect your career and become good at it. A lot of guys get distracted, which only hurts them. You must stay focused and work very hard’’
What emerges from these stories is the loneliness in the effort. When you are alone on the field with the ball at night training, when everyone is gone, then you know that nobody can follow you, that this path is the right one and that you are making a difference But what sounds easy on paper is much less in reality. Doing more requires greater acceptance of suffering, constantly ” playing ” with the physical limitations of your body, sometimes to a point where you can barely stand on your feet.
” The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win. ” Roger Bannester
“It’s at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys. ” Emil Zatopek