" I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time and was always late, it was my worst. I didn 't see it was a problem. Playing soccer was my environment, but as soon as you leave you have 1,000 things on your mind. ”The duty of a parent cannot be overstated, but some players have had to turn to other role models in the absence of 'a guide at home.
For Ian Wright it was a teacher, Mr. Pigden. If you haven ' t seen the clip of a moving meeting in between, go find him on YouTube. Warning: you will cry. Mr. Pigden surprises his former student at Highbury. Wright, who thought his teacher was dead, is so overcome with emotion that he bursts into tears. Raised in a volatile home by a single mother, Wright lacked a prominent male figuree to give him the conviction and support he needed, until he became Mr. Pigden's pupil at Turnham Elementary School. "He's been the most important influence on my life," he said. "From the age of seven, he showed me a lot of love, attention and care.
Chips , lobs, volleys, right foot, left foot, inside the box, off the beaten track, Wright had fierce confidence and a unique aptitude for improvisation. This ingenuity owes much to Mr. Pigden's measured advice, Wright says. “He said, 'Don't score goals, Ian, where the keeper is close, score where he can't move,'" he told Stan Collymore's The Last Mot podcast . "My favorite has always been to chip the goalie to catch him off guard, so he doesn't budge." JI used to get close to the goal and literally try to get the power of my whole body to get through the goalie and make a hole in him. In 1971, my teacher told me ": " Jimmy Greaves passes it in goal. Sometimes he doesn't even touch the net. He passes it. These are the right goals to score. "I always felt like I was the best player ever after talking to Mr. Pigden.
L The heartwarming story of one of Arsenal's greatest goalscorers and Sydney Pigden, a former RAF pilot turned teacher, comes gift-wrapped for TV shows. Not all stories have a Hollywood hook and many of the dedicated coaches who help develop elite talent are forgotten along the way. The public wants to hear about rejection, trauma and redemption, not the hours spent learning a field system.'training.
But as Mr. Pigden has demonstrated and Professor Harwood can approve, mentors, whether they are teachers or coaches, have the power to shape a youngster "Coaches are not far behind parents because they are seen as a credible source of information and expertise and confidence in the guidance of the youth. 'heir progresses into early adolescence, "he says.
E some Rubio is seen entrust this responsibility throughout his career, working with players from the academy of Chelsea and MK Dons. The Spaniard, who currently works as a technical consultant at Crystal Palace, is the founder of My energy game , a bigowes of coaches and psychologists who have developed a program designed to support mental health and improve emotional intelligence.
Rubio believes that It is the coach 's responsibility to focus on the person, not the player, and help them control their emotions so that they handle the pressure and demands of professional play. Failure to do so can lead to a waste of talent. "If you have a knack I can't give you more ability, but my influence on you as a coach will be huge whether you do it or not, depending on how I shape you as a person" , he explains. “I can inspire you to work hard and make you more passionate about improving your weaker foot. I can give you coping mechanisms to deal with your emotions during a match so that you can recover from your mistakes, move away from provocation and blockr the noise of the crowd. I have seen talented players lose their love of the game because of the way they have been trained and I have seen talented players improve what they have through good training.
Coaches who work with players during the delicate transition phase of adolescence have to deal with rampant hormones, rapid growth, and in some cases, players facing difficult family life or troublesome friends. The role of the peer grows in importance as children grow older as they begin to compare their progress with that of their teammates, who are also rivals in pursuing a pro contract. An influential peer group outside of the academic environment can help a young player be successful or get him into trouble. If you get the wrong crowd, the chances of realizing your potential diminish, as Morrison can attest.
When he was growing up two of his friends were convicted of a street theft offense and in February 2011, three months after making his Manchester United debut, Morrison pleaded guilty to two offenses intimidation of a witness. "I moved from Wythenshawe to Stretford and it's not the right crowd. Growing up, I would be away until 2 a.m. and am supposed to be in training by 9 a.m. I am not sleeping well, I am not eating properly. I was not living the footballer's lifestyle, ”he explained. “When I was 15, 16, I was hanging out with a group of people who are bad in the eyes of people; not bad in mine because when I grew up that 's all I knew. "
Parents, coaches, teachers and friends all leave an impression on a pliable young athlete. Smith used his father's advice to turn the negative into the positive.Pigden influenced Wright's approach to finishing. Thomas's father shaped him as a man and as a player. And in the absence of a father figure, Morrison has been led astray by his peers.
This is called modeling, a theory developed by the psychologist Albert Bandura who emphasizes the importance of social learning through observation. Simplified, children observe people (role models), encode their behavior, and can then mimic the behavior they have observed. The response they receive to applying this behavior - that is, positive reinforcement or punishment - usually dictates whether it is repeated.
The type of role models a young person meets is dictated by their environment, which is primarily governed by location. The place whereWhere they live influences where they go to school, which in turn has an impact on where they play and who they play with.
T the former Exeter Defender of the city Troy Brown had parents who recognized the importance of the environment and the network of people who would expose him to. His parents separated when he was young, but they worked together to give their son the best possible opportunities. First, his father, a successful businessman, sent Troy to a private elementary school called Cumnor House. Then her mother moved from Thornton Heath to Purley to be closer to school.
Once in the ecosystem of the private school,he was awarded a scholarship to Whitgift High School, an institution which has alumni such as Callum Hudson-Odoi, Victor Moses, Jamal Musiala and Bertrand Traore. "I moved away from the urban area and it had a huge influence on how my life turned out," says Brown. "I had a head start and everyone who goes to private school does it, but it can go wrong for people.
" I have seen parents bend over backwards to send their child to private school but stayed in the area where there is a lot going on, which is why I am grateful to my mom for having moved otherwise I take a certain bus line, see some people and some things could have been a very different. The people who went to my school ended up in jail anyway. "
Brown, who now works as an agent, made 295 appearances in the League offootball and Scottish. Championship after being released by Fulham as a teenager. He wasn't your standard public school boy: with one foot in a working-class environment and the other in the privileged world, he developed a self-confidence and resilience that equipped him. for a career in professional sports.
"We lived in a rented apartment and my mother did not drive," he says. "I didn't have the same luck as some of the other kids from wealthy families, but I was resilient and could do without because I was a footballer. It helped me more late in my career when I had to deal with release, relegation and injury. Going to these schools gives you discipline and structure. I was like a robot. childhood was discipline, timing and good manners. At the age of 11, 12, I had deep conversations with coaches and coaches.t I looked them in the eye, while the other children looked at their feet.
However, this whole structure kept him away from the curbs, cages and concrete sidewalks of South London, fertile ground for flip-flaps and rabonas. The technique of street footballers is often attributed to the challenge of dribbling around housing estates and standing up to opponents who talk about garbage.
Although these elements help sharpen skills and develop stoicism it's actually hours of rehearsal and free play that sharpens a velcro touch. "Sean Scannell [former Crystal Palace and Huddersfield Town winger] was always better than me because of the people he played street football with week after week," Brown recalls. “He played more football than I did because his time allowed it. While he was playing soccer, I was doing extra math. "
There is a popular account that suggests creativity is the exclusive preserve of the street footballer, but Rubio believes the imagination is cultivated from many different sources , including the structured environment of an academy and a qualified coach. “There's more to it,” he said. "Maybe a player is really creative because he spent two years with a coach who developed this aspect of his game.
" In addition, a street footballer can come from his home. where their parents are really regimented and strict and when they play in the cage, they follow that same pattern of behavior. Home environment, school, role models, all these things influence creativity, not just street or academy football. sports heroes, nothing more than the free-spirited street kid who overcame personal trauma to succeed against all odds. Like wa Like dans the case of Smith, many successful people derive their strength and motivation from trauma - this builds personality, humility and motivation: essential traits for any individual to survive the prospect-to-pro journey. , then thrives in the cutthroat world of elite sport.
Is trauma the fundamental catalyst success ? For Inter striker Edin Dzeko growing up in war-torn Sarajevo was his strength. "There was not much to eat, hardly ever three meals a day," he said. "I was scared. We always had to hide when shots were fired and bombs fell. My house was destroyed so we went to live with my grandparents. The whole family was there, maybe. be 15 people dans an apartment of about 35 square meters. It was very hard. We were stressed out every day in case someone we knew died. Many footballers start playing ball in the streets. For me it was impossible. But when the war ended, I was much stronger, mentally. "
Dzeko 's survival story is one of many in the history of football. Mourning, abandonment, poverty, rejection - all of these traumas kicked off an unstoppable trajectory to the top of the game. But here it is. that the phrase "Talent Needs Trauma" becomes more complicated. By its very definition, trauma suggests something extreme: severe emotional shock and pain from an extremely overwhelming experience.
There is some truth to this theory, but it is more nuanced, as researchers from the University of Central Lancashire discovered during ahe study in 2016. They examined the factors associated with “trauma” experiences and their impact on the trajectories of high performing, middle and low performing athletes. There was no evidence to suggest that major trauma was a necessity for effective talent development, but instead challenges "as associated with the development of specific skills" offered the "best path to development. success ".
The role of coaches, parents and siblings was mentioned by all participants and top performing students " were characterized by an almost fanatical reaction to the challenge, both proactively and in reaction to accidents (i.e. trauma) that have typically occurred due to sports-related injuries or setbacks such as non- selection / abandonment. "
We should congratulate people like Dzeko for overcoming unbelievable circumstances.difficult, but that doesn't mean we should ignore the struggles of those we perceive to have had more privileged lives. Kasper Schmeichel grew up as the son of legendary Manchester United and Denmark goalkeeper Peter. He lacked nothing and could have sat down and enjoyed the fruits of his father 's labor, but it was not accepted in his family.
Even after winning three league titles, including an extraordinary Premier League win with Leicester City in 2016, he retained his thirst for success. "I grew up in a world of privilege, but struggled a lot " he told High performance podcast . "I have never needed anything in my life and that was the trigger for me to go to work for something that no one can buy me alonecan do it.
"As great as it is sometimes to be the son of Peter Schmeichel and to have that kind of access, it ' was horrible. I am compared to one of the best goalies ever. Perhaps the standards in my family are different from those in other families. My father won the Premier League five times; he won the Champions League as a captain; and he has the record number of appearances for this country. This is the norm. A professional career was not enough. It gives me something to strive for. "
And it is that hu ger, forged in childhood, that separates those who do and those who do not. Researchers at the University of Groningen looked at the psychological characteristics of a group of players in an elite academy, then looked at this data 15 years later, examining the common traits of those who have progressed through the professional ranks and those whoui failed.
The psychological factors that predicted professional success were commitment to goals, which led to intense practice and behavioral behaviors. 'coping, that is, those who had the tools to deal with stressful situations and seeking social support - the perception or experience that one is loved and cared for by others, valued and valued , and is part of a social network of mutual aid and obligations ", that is to say a family unit or team.
These behaviors can be learned and influenced by key figures in a young player 's life. Many of these important factors are beyond their control, especially when they depend on their caregivers and coaches for a long time. the embryonic stages of their development.
Every stimulus they encounter - family, friends, education, coaches- has the power to program behavior, both positive and negative. Developing a young player is a bit like trying to solve a Rubik 's Cube, with so many variables to piece together. It's easy to celebrate characters who have overcome incredible adversity, but focusing on the trauma and the individual's perceived response can take you away from the crucial context and nuances.
It is the interpretation of failure and how to react to that event, defined by the key mentor in their life, which can provide the pattern of successful behaviors. Young athletes don 't need trauma; they need a high level environment of challenge and support to prepare them for a life in elite sport. "Growth comes from those around them who show them how to cope with these challenges " says Professor Harwood.
"It 's not about no major traumatic eventeur that they inherently faced. Science says that there must be a stimulating portfolio for the athlete, for example playing with the kid of an age group or playing him out of position to see how he copes with it, but with a support network to help them manage the situation. Parents should realize, "I have an important role here, I better not ruin everything."
Fortunately, Kelly Smith's dad knew exactly what to say.
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