We have all heard parents and coaches trying to encourage players when things do not go their way by telling them that they were “Unlucky” Sure there are times when no matter what one does things just do not go one’s way, then there are times where everything seems to fall into place and the coach and the players become Super Stars suddenly.

A golf professional friend of mine once told me that regardless of what sport one plays It takes Desire, Dedication, Discipline, Devotion, Determination and Destiny to become a professional. No mention of luck there. I do however believe that at times one must be at the right place at the right time and I guess that can be classed as luck. Regardless I still think its all about hard work.

There are no short cuts to success, it’s definitely about hard work and then there are no guarantees! What is success? How should one measure success? Is it by the number of trophies one gathers? Is it by the number of championships won? I suggest that success means different things to different people. I am of the view that one must set small objectives and measure success by meeting those objectives.

Many players dream about becoming professionals, but most do not realise how much hard work it takes over many, many years. You have heard me preaching about the “Four Core Skills” a) First Touch b) Striking the ball c) running with the ball d) 1 v 1 in attack and defence. These are the foundations necessary if players dare to dream about becoming professionals.

Then one must work and work and work on:

  • ball control, dribbling skills, passing accuracy, body control;
  • spatial awareness, tactical knowledge
  • Endurance, balance and coordination, speed, strength and power
  • Composure; mental strength, coachability, self-motivation.One sure way to determine If a player has what it takes is by listening to players at training who complain about repetitive drills. These are most likely the ones who are not prepared to dedicate hours and hours of practice away from training sessions to perfect skills.  

“I am not a perfectionist, but I like to feel that things are done well. More important than that, I feel an endless need to learn, to improve, to evolve, not only to please the coach and the fans but also to feel satisfied with myself. It is my conviction that here are no limits to learning, and that it can never stop, no matter what our age.”

Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”


Proper Mindset is crucial to achieving success in football. To really achieve success, footballers must put all their heart and soul into the game. To achieve success in football, players need to find a balance and learn to be passionate without overdoing it in terms of training because recovery periods are equally important.

My advice to young players is to do it because you WANT to, not because you HAVE to. Do it for YOU not to please anyone else and be prepared to listen to your coach even if what you are told is not what you want to hear. Players need to hear the truth