Galanis Blog: Think Like A Champion

Think Like A Champion

2013 is well on its way. It’s been a long time since my last blog and I look forward to pumping out more blogs in 2013. The response has been overwhelming and I enjoy sharing my knowledge with all of you.
For this blog, I want to go back to 2012 as it was the most successful year of Universal Soccer Academy’s 12 years of existence and many valuable lessons can be extracted from 2012.
In 2012, Universal was able to help players bring back Olympic Gold again at the London Olympics. The academy helped prepare players to crack the pro level and continued to develop multiple players who are good enough to represent National, State ODP and Regional ODP teams. This blog will enlighten you as to the 3 key points that makes these players special and successful.
How do these players make it to these levels? The common denominator of each player’s success is desire. They each have a set goal and won’t rest until they achieve it. Along the way many distractions and obstacles come their way but their minds filter them and they ask, “Will it affect my goal?” If the signs are that the obstacle or distraction might slightly derail them from their path to their goal, they won’t let it be a distraction and they will conquer whatever obstacle is placed in front of them. They will find a way to keep their minds on their goal. Their desire to achieve their goal cannot be touched and is a force that nothing can sway or move.
How did these players become so good that they have found their dreams and are living their dreams? They have become successful because of the hours they have clocked in. There is a huge checklist consisting of skills, tactical knowledge, physical and mental power that you must possess to become an effective soccer player. In order to become a champion, this entire checklist needs to be ticked off. The only way you can tick off all the Technical, Tactical, Physical and Mental skills is by dedicating hours and hours of training…not only with your team, but more importantly, on your own. Universal’s top students don’t just come to our academy and expect the trainers to turn them into a champion. They go home and don’t switch off and continue to improve their game when no one is watching.
What do they all have in common? Their mind is starving for more. More is never enough. Even though they are improving on a daily basis, they continually strive to get even better. It’s an obsession to be better today than they were yesterday. All these athletes have to be forced to take a day off. And when they do take a day off they come back with a mindset that they took a step backwards when really they did not. Their mind is conditioned to keep moving forward daily and that there is no peak in sight. Their peak will end when they want it to end. This mindset is the mindset needed if you are going to reach the top.
All three of these key points are mental and it sums up our famous saying around the academy; “The mind is the Athlete and the Body is what you use to get there.”  If you don’t use your mind and know how to think, you will not become a successful athlete or human being. Your mind needs to be trained to think like a champion in order for it to become a champion. 
James Galanis
Director of Soccer Operations


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