My daughter recently asked me about the one piece of advice I’d give to young football players. Although there are many tips and suggestions that I can give in this regard, the most important is having a close circle of good people. You may think what does that have to do with football? So let me share what I explained to my daughter.
When a young aspiring player breaks through to the world of professional football, he gets an unimaginable amount of attention and financial freedom. Not everyone is prepared or equipped to deal with the enormity of the limelight you receive when you become a star. After all, you’re just a young player starting off your journey in professional football. The sudden attention and financial freedom tend to make some people arrogant owing to which they end up making grave mistakes. Now, that’s the last thing you want if you wish to sustain your career and popularity. It is, therefore, essential that you have a close-knit circle of good people. These could be anyone starting from your family and friends to your mentors and coaches as well as your advisors and agents.
Remember, when you decide to play professional football, it’s like taking the snakes and ladders route. You’ll come across countless people who’d try to trick you to beat you in order to get to the top. And if you’re too rigid and arrogant, you may not be able to handle the complex situations of this highly competitive world. But when you’re surrounded by good sincere people, they’d not only keep you grounded but also give you the best advice for your career and life. Whether you want to sign a new contract, get a new house, or go on a strict diet, there are tons of things that a footballer needs to put in place if they are to achieve new heights, both on a personal and professional level. So if you don’t have the right people to give you the right guidance at the right time, you can make mistakes that can cost you badly.
Wrong advice or lack of advice leads to wrong decisions and they can ruin careers and dreams. So the most precious advice that I can give to young footballers is to surround yourself with good people who give you valuable advice. They will help you become a better decision-maker, better player as well as a better person.