Yesterday, I gave a talk at Emirates Stadium for an event held by Arsenal in the Community. I talked about the importance of building a World Class team around you so that you have the best support possible on the journey along your path.
After the formalities of the event, as always, I stayed to answer some questions from the people who attended. Out of all the people I spoke to, one man’s question stuck out for me.
He told me that he has a son that is in a football academy and soon they will be handing out the scholarships for the chosen boys; what can his son do to make sure that he gets one of the places?
The question I asked him back is “Does your son want it himself? – Is this something HE is actually passionate about?” He said yes, so I gave him the following answer:
The number one thing he can do is stand up and be counted every single time he walks out on the turf. Always be there offering a pass to his team-mates… no hiding! When the game / training is easy, get on the ball. When the game / training is hard, get on the ball.
When you do this you are going to make mistakes. You are going to lose the ball. You are going to make some bad decisions in possession. This is better than never offering and never getting on the ball. This is better than being an invisible player. This is better because:
1) You are going to learn and develop a lot quicker than everyone else because you have far more touches on the ball,, and some of the time in potentially tricky situations
2) You are going to be judged on your true ability because people are able to see what you can really do
3) People around you are going to see you as the person they go to when it is difficult for them
4) If you don’t make it, you know that you gave the best of yourself
Is this advice just for a young boy wanting to impress at a football academy? No. The same is true for someone in the workplace, at home with their family, or even in their studies.
By blending in to the background, all you are doing is selling yourself short and never really achieving what you are capable of. Stand up and make yourself be counted.