Anything is possible

In the wake of the Manchester Derby which staged a miraculous comeback for the red half of the city, my mind has been focused on the amazing attitude shown by the players. Every now and then the world reminds us that the unpredictable is certainly possible. In this instance a much criticised team was able to overcome the seemingly irrepressible force even after suffering the worst of starts to the match. And on the flip-side a team which has blown away everybody in their path for the majority of the season has succumbed to the concession of 6 goals in 180 minutes of football.


The way in which the Manchester United players recovered from their two goal deficit to win by three goals to two was proof that given the right mentality, anything can be achieved. The blend of talent and immense will power is the perfect recipe for overcoming obstacles and reaching goals. A more relevant example to the work I’m involved in is that of Frank Lampard. A player who at a young age was told he wasn’t going to make it at elite level. The boy couldn’t run. Top coaches said that his poor athleticism would always hold him back. There are many players who at a tender age would hear this, lose faith in their future and admit defeat. He could have settled for a lower level. He could have even given up on the game completely as I myself have seen a few promising players do over the years as a result of knockbacks of this nature. But Lampard trained. Whilst other players were going home and relaxing, he was doing extra training sessions, extra sprints, and extra laps. Harry Redknapp recalls seeing his nephew (Lampard) running through the streets of London in a black bin bag in order to shed pounds and be lighter on his feet. (This by the way is an antiquated method of weight-loss and shouldn’t be advised for many reasons but you can’t blame the lad for trying). All of this extra work contributed to him having a prolonged, trophy laden playing career at some of the world’s top clubs.


This example is a brilliant one for anybody with aspirations in any field not just sport. As adults I see it as our responsibility to pass this idea on to children who are at the most impressionable stage they’ll ever be in their lives. They need to know that they can achieve whatever they dedicate themselves to and that the earlier they start on that road to success the more likely they are to reach it. From a coaching perspective this is a vital notion. As well as the role I’m in with Progressive Soccer I also coach a men’s football team and that the ability to breed belief amongst people is one of the most important aspects of the role. Tactical instruction is futile without the simultaneous instillation of conviction and trust in those methods.


The main thing I’ve taken from the joys of this weekend (if you haven’t guessed I am a United fan and make no apologies for it) is that positive messages and examples to back them up must be used when interacting with players, particularly young ones. Going from playing in the park with their mates to playing in front of ninety thousand people at Wembley Stadium is mighty-long and difficult journey which 99% of players don’t make. But it’s possible. The people on the television screens aren’t born superstars, their made. And as coaches, parents and people with experience we can help players make their first steps in the right direction.


This is what we’re trying to do at Progressive Soccer, if you want your child to have the best possible start to their life in football, get in touch here.

Antonio Nurse