Thursday, May 13, 2021

Coaching Perspective: Control The Controllables

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You Can Control The Mental Side Of Your Soccer Game

Epic performances are rare. Looking back more than 100 years to the Olympics in Stockholm gives us all a chance to clearly recognize the power of mental strength — and not wasting time trying to control the things we can’t even begin to control.

Thorpe had been voted the “Greatest Athlete of the First Half of the 20th Century” and was arguably the greatest athlete the United States has ever produced back then. Thorpe had already won Gold in the pentathlon a week prior. In fact, he had won four of the five events.

And, on the first day of the decathlon, he ran the 100m dash in 11.2 seconds. In the rain. That record would stand for another 36 years.

BUT, ON THE SECOND DAY OF THE DECATHLON, SOMEONE HAD STOLEN HIS CLEATS.

Yes, that’s right. Somebody had stolen his cleats.

Imagine training for four years for the Olympics, and the only piece of equipment you need to compete in your event is stolen.

SO WHAT DID THORPE DO?

He and his coach rummaged around and eventually found two shoes, allegedly in the garbage, that Thorpe could wear.

The problem was that the two shoes were not a pair. One was demonstrably bigger than the other, forcing Thorpe to wear additional socks on one foot in order for them to fit appropriately.

Thorpe then went out and won the high-jump event and left the field gasping when he won the 110m hurdles in another record time.

He finished in a ‘pedestrian’ 3rd and 4th place in the pole vault and the javelin, his two worst events. Then Thorpe toed the line, still in his mismatched shoes, for the decathlon’s final event – the 1,500m race.

He obliterated the field . . .

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