Written 3rd April 09
This week, I've learnt all about silence. How to keep still. How to let things be. How to not get so nervous and paranoid about everything. One of the great football coaches of our generation once said something like, " If you go in thinking you might lose the game, then you've already lost."
I can't for the life of me remember who it was, but its stuck in my head. And its absolutely true.
Whether you are in a relationship, battling an illness, or well, playing football.
All the great sportsmen in the world have it. This, self belief. Inner confidence. I think its why we see men reduced to boys, crying on their knees when it comes to losses because they so firmly believed they were going to win.
They have a focus. Tunnel vision. Where they tune everything out. The noise from within. The noise from outside.
No hearing, "Don't mess up this penalty boy." in your head. No hearing of the crowds jeering "Yer yenny boo boo you can't make it" while you take the shot.
And patience. To strike at the right moment. To know when to make your move and capitalize on it. Because one second too early, and a tennis pro's serve won't be as powerful. One second too late, and the winds can change and a golfer's ball will land up in the rough. Life is all about taking chances. About being patient so you can reap the benefits of what you sow.
That is provided you have put in the time and done all the legwork of course. And Bob Marley is great to listen to, but that whole "No woman no cry" theory, that's just fear and escapism. And some highly controversial vegetation talking. That's the easy way out.
If you want the woman, the prize, the trophy, who cares about whether or not you cry. You put in 100%. Give it your all. No regrets.
So I say this to my teams. Liverpool and Mclaren alike. There have been ups and downs. But you have put in the time, you have slaved, toiled, trained for hours. Just be consistent. Be patient. Be still.
We've all seen how Liverpool plays when they are getting nervy. They lose balls they shouldn't. Miss goals my grandma (may she rest in peace) could make. And they mess up. We all do. Its like when you go on a first date with girl and you are nervous and start rambling on and on, thinking you are doing well.
Then on the way home, you retrace your conversation, and realising you spent 2 hours talking about your love for licking glue off the back of enevelopes and stamps like it was the world's most fascinating thing, while she was twirling her hair and texting like she wanted to win the "fastest fingers first" segment on "Who wants to be a millionaire."
It always happens especially when something is really important and means a lot to you. You want it to be perfect. You put so much pressure on yourself to do well that in the end... you implode.
To Liverpool: Guys, you will always be my men. So just play it cool. Put your head in the game, but don't lose it. We have our shot now, but win or lose. We're still behind you.
To my dear boys at McLaren. I know it seems like I stepped out on you while I posed for pics and raved about Nico Rosberg while you were in Singapore last year. It probably was a case of well, the fact that Nico was such a nice, polite and obliging chap. And look how perfect he looks in this photo, almost like a wax figure. Oh so yummy.
But I digress.
They've taken away our points, but they can't take away our spirit.
And at the end of it all, brains always trumps brawn anyway.
What matters is what's on the inside. And wait. Right no, aren't Brawn using our engines anyway, eh?