Maradona, Jumping on Beds & a Failed Dream

By Andrew on 09 Mar 2018

Why does mindset matter to fitness and health so much?


Why do some people achieve their dreams and some just settle despite having all the passion?

For my 10th birthday I was given a Diego Maradona football. It was 1990 and he was considered to be the best player of all time. In my opinion, even with the obvious flaws (mainly recreational drug abuse and a little crazy) he was and still is the best player of all time. The way he played the game at that time and how he single handily helped Napoli and Argentina to become champions when they were clearly not the favourites paved the way for creative players like Messi and Ronaldo.

Although this sounds ridiculous, that particular football was the best present I have ever received. At the time, football was my life. Nothing else mattered. I was happy and content and I would play all day every day. It was like a drug. I even slept with the ball because I heard that's what Diego did when he was a kid, so I thought if I did it, I would become just like him (minus the drug abuse). I broke windows and green houses, I busted plants and dinted cars.

I jumped on my parents bed practising overhead kicks, which my mum really 'loved' and always 'encouraged' me to do (my mum doesn't subscribe to these emails). This mainly occurred when she
was not around and it tended to be on a Monday night at 8pm. This was when (thanks to Irish TV, which was normally pretty awful) Italian football highlights were on. Series A or the Italian equivalent to the premier league was the best league in the world at the time. All the best players played there and Diego was the king.

I played and practised every day without any care about anything else. Even when I was in bed I imagined playing football and It was all consuming. I loved it and I always felt great with a football at my feet.

Unfortunately, sport is cruel. I started to become more anxious as I grew up. I became obsessed about others and started to get injured because of poor decisions on the field. I was still playing at a reasonable level but something was different. The pressure to be the best became not enjoyable. I focused too much on becoming a professional and forgot about enjoying the game I loved, just like when I was ten. I had great support all around me but something was missing. I was lost. My dream slowly slipped away.

On reflection, the problem was not with anyone around me; not the annoying team mates, not the professional scouts, not the injuries, not the coaches, not my boots, not my family and friends. It was in fact my lack of focus on the present moment.

Now, what the hell does that mean? Sounds like wishy washy rubbish, or does it.

Let me explain.

My mind was in the future and not in the present. The problem with that is, the future has not happened yet and ironically is shaped by the present. I became obsessed with the outcome (the future: becoming a professional) and not the process (present: playing the game carefree). I have learned you cannot be carefree if you keep worrying about the future, which doesn't even exist yet e.g. 'What if I don't play well', 'that scout will only be here for this game, so I better play well or else I will lose my chance' etc, etc.

A lot of research has shown that focusing on the process and visualising success is the mindset of champions. As the saying goes 'those who say they can and those that say they can't are both usually right'. I lost my dream because I lost what it was like to be ten years old with a Maradona football, I lost true focus and keeping things in the present.

Even now 25 years later, I still remember vividly the moment when I unwrapped that football. I know what uncontrollable passion is. I know what it's like to be obsessed (I slept with a football). I know what it feels like to lose a dream and I know what it like too lose all hope.

Champions and successful people focus on the process and stay consistent on a daily basis. They have a big dream but they work hard daily on the small stuff. They know where they are, they know where they want to be and they know how to get there.

ProCare Sports Medicine is where Champions & successful people come when they want to Come Back Stronger.

Click here www.procaresportsmedicine.com or CALL 07840180668 to become the person you want to be.

Posted in: Training Considerations , Why ProCare is Different, Mental health

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