Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.
– Walter Elliott
The two big games at the end of the football season, the wins for Manchester City to clinch the Premier League title and Chelsea’s victory in the Champions League final, have shed an interesting light on the mindset of the players involved.
At the end of 90 minutes Manchester City were losing 2-1 against the 10 men of QPR with the prospect of losing the title on the last day of the season looming large. However they had 5 minutes of injury time to play and in the last 3 minutes of this managed to score two goals and completely reverse the outcome not only of the game but the whole season itself.
In the after match interviews the interviewer asked the team Captain, Vincent Kompany, whether he thought as they headed into injury time that City were going to choke (again) in their quest to win the title for the first time in 44 years. Kompany’s answer was illuminating with him denying this entered their heads this as they had evidence of them rescuing games in the dying minutes earlier in the season. Therefore there was no reason that they shouldn’t do so again.
It is this kind of attitude and approach that separates those that achieve success and those that don’t. Having had the majority of the possession and chances during the game, many other teams would have decided it wasn’t going to be their day as the game wore on and mentally given up as they entered the final few minutes of the game.
Chelsea demonstrated this again in their final last weekend. Bayern Munich had enjoyed the possession and eventually got their reward with a goal in the 83rd minute. After “hanging on” for all that time conceding a goal with seven minutes left would have destroyed most teams, with the players resigning themselves to their fate. However, with two minutes left Chelsea equalised and went on to win the game in a penalty shootout. Again it would have been very easy for the Chelsea players to give up but something within them refused to accept defeat and their mindset was strong enough to rise to the challenge they faced.
Brian Clough is famous for saying “It only takes a second to score a goal” and your mindset is a crucial factor in this process. When I was training to sell double glazing door to door I learnt arguably the most important lesson in my life on the very first day. Steve, the guy training us, outlined what would happen after the training was over;
“On your first night you are going to knock on 100 doors and ninety nine people are going to say no to you, there will only be one person who will say yes. What you need to remember when someone says “no”, all that has happened is that you are one door closer to the person who will say “yes” to you.
However, if you allow all the no’s to get to you and you knock on the next door expecting them to say no as well, that’s exactly what will happen. You will miss the yes because you are not looking for it as you are too busy brooding about the last door you knocked on.”
This is exactly the same principle applied by the players from City and Chelsea, they kept knocking on every door expecting to get the yes they were looking for, and by knocking on every door with the same positive attitude they have become legends for the fans of their clubs.
This will give you an idea of what it’s like to keep going until the final whistle…. 🙂
When you knock on the doors in your life, what is your attitude telling you will happen when it is answered?
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
– Thomas Edison