Life lessons from David James and Jermain Defoe

As an avid football fan I’ve been following Englands progress closely in the FIFA World Cup 2010. Needless to say I’m thrilled that we are in the last 16! A few really interesting things stood out for me though – Juergen Klinsman on being asked about Englands chances before the game with Slovenia said something like ‘why do you always see the cup as half-empty, this is a great team and I think they can even win the world cup’. A really telling remark about the attitude of the English media – what would happen if we saw the cup as half-full? Surely now more than ever its time to get behind the team??? World cup winners in the past have not cruised through to the final, often they reach there bruised and somewhat battered which perhaps gives them a mental edge because they’ve seen it all & come through.

Also fascinating is the mental game and how many sports stars use techniques like visualisation, positive thinking and staying focused on the end goal to the exclusion of all else. Jem Defoe was asked whether it’s a disruption to have to travel for the match with Germany and he said something to the effect that its irrelevant, we are focusing on the game, not on this stuff. He also said the important thing is to stay positive & focus on winning and be confident. Sounds simple and basic doesn’t it? And yet, how often do we actually look for what we want to see rather than thinking of the “worst case scenario”? Why don’t we say “best case scenario”??? A classic case in point was the media interview with David James today. It was fascinating to see how he was asked about penalties about 20 times despite saying umpteen times that the intention is to win in 90 minutes. He even apologized for sounding like “Groundhog Day” and eventually refused to answer questions about penalties because he does not want to have to deal with them so why focus on them? Why indeed? Why not focus on winning in 90 minutes, which I think England are absolutely capable of doing.

David also talked about how he visualises saving goals and catching the ball. Another fan of visualisation is Ronaldinho and also Virender Sehwag from the Indian cricket team.

So what can we take away from these super stars that are at the top of their game in every way?

  • Focus on what you WANT, not what you don’t want.
  • Stay positive at all times.
  • Visualise success

Sports stars the world over use these simple techniques with amazing results – it’s about time we all took a leaf out of their books!

Come on England!!!!

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2 Responses to Life lessons from David James and Jermain Defoe
  1. Michelle O'Neil
    June 25, 2010 | 4:57 pm

    I LOVE that he refused to stop answering the questions. Brilliant.

    Soon people will stop asking him those kinds of questions at all.

  2. Piya Khanna
    June 25, 2010 | 5:01 pm

    He practically growled at the press!!! Really amazing interview :)

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