Written by Dan Abrahams in his book; "Soccer Tough: Simple Football Psychology Techniques to Improve Your Game."

There is one figure that lays on the lips of many of the world’s finest sports coaches right now – 10,000. It is this number that is believed to be one of the secrets to success.

Practice soccer for 10,000 hours and you give yourself a great chance of becoming world class at what you do. But not all soccer fans should get too excited yet. There are, of course, rules and regulations to those 10,000 hours. Some of which I’ll talk about later.

It was a Swedish researcher called Anders Ericsson who came up with the magic number. He discovered that experts practice around the same amount of time every single day including at weekends.

Back in the 1980s Ericsson travelled to Berlin to study the working patterns of top violinists. At the time, people thought that the really top violinists would train for fewer hours than the less accomplished musicians because they had natural talent and ‘didn’t need to practice’. But Ericsson discovered the complete opposite. The best violinists were the ones who invested significantly more time to practice. As a result, over the past 20 years, Anders Ericsson has argued that people can, by and large, reach excellence in their chosen profession or activity but it takes about 10,000 hours of hard work to do so.

Danny Alves Explains The Impact That Pep Guardiola Had On His Career London Times Soccer Extract

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“Even in my first contact with him, it was his ideas that made an impression on me.” Alves says.” There is no doubt about it football, teamwork….and (the conviction) that nothing would work if people didn’t think collectively. Those things made a mark on our lives because they are philosophies that can easily be applied to life too.”

“He had the power to convince you that everything he thought about, everything he said was for our benefit. They weren’t empty words and I always respected him for that. That’s why I said that I would jump if I had to because something good would always come out of it. Everything he said in the final meeting before a match would happen in the game. It’s hard for people to understand that. Afterwards he got the video and showed you and said, “Didn’t I tell you that this would happen?”

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“As a manager in football I have never been interested in simply sending out a collection of brilliant individuals. There is no substitute for talent but, on the field, talent without unity of purpose is a hopelessly devalued commodity. In my business, togetherness is not just a nice concept that you can take or leave according to your taste. If you don’t have it you are nothing. Selfishness, factionalism, cliquishness and egos are all personal traits that are death to a football team.” - Alex Ferguson



“As a manager you have to live like a player.” It was put to him that that’s a long time to live like a player. “Yes, but for every passion there is a big price to pay,” Wenger countered. “I say that to the players. When you are hungry, it is only your stomach that is telling you it is hungry, it is just a part of your body. When you are hungry for success, it is the whole person, the whole life that wants that success. It is not just one part of your body that wants to win on Saturday afternoon, there is something in the structure of your personality that says this is vital to me and it is worth organising my life around this desire. That is the core of your life."

I do a lot of things I do not like to do. I would prefer to be able to go out and enjoy my life. But I think that tomorrow I will be mentally dead, I will forget something, or I will not be competitive.” - Arsene Wenger

"Taking a penalty in practice, in front of nobody, is a different skill than taking a penalty in front of 40,000 people." - Anon

"Soccer Coaches are not just teaching a game - they are teaching a way of life." - Arsene Wenger


"Tactics are used to multiply the abilities of the players.” - Arrigo Saachi

Composure Under Pressure

“Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory.” - Arthur Ashe

The Art of Coaching

"Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their players and motivate." - Vince Lombardi

Man’s Finest Hour

"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious. " - Vince Lombardi


“A leader leads by example, not by force” - Sun Tzu


Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. (2) He
will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. (3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. (4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. (5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.”
- Sun Tzu


"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself for he shall never cease to be entertained." - John Boswell


"I wanted to have a career in sports when I was young, but I had to give it up.  I'm only six feet tall, so I couldn't play basketball.  I'm only 190 pounds, so I couldn't play football.  And I have 20-20 vision, so I couldn't be a referee." - Jay Leno

On Winning a Professional Golf Tournament

Mahan gave credit to two things for his success this week, he replaced his Ping Anser putter for a Ping model called the "Nome", a mallet sized center shafted model that he credits with helping him see the line better. Secondly, he has worked hard on his attitude, "If I wanted to be the player that I thought I could be, I was going to have to change. I had to take it easy on myself, basically not try so hard. I didn't want to have my identity stuck with my golf score. They needed to be separated, and I need to play golf because I enjoy it, and accept the result and move on and not get attached to it." - Hunter Mahan

Ricky Fowler – Observations of Tiger Woods at the Crest of His Game

“Being In The Moment”

''It came out perfect, landed right on the crown of that ridge there, and the rest is history,'' Fowler said. ''I mean, he loves being in the moment, and that's where he kind of gets down, focuses and hits those shots. It was fun to see.'' Ricky Fowler on playing with Tiger Woods in the final round of the Memorial when Woodsie made 4 birdies in last 5 holes to win coming from 2 stroke deficit….Fowler, who was in the hunt, had an 83 on the final day playing with Woodsie.


"In Roseto, virtually no one under fifty one died of a heart attack or showed any signs of heart disease. For men over 65 the death rate from heart disease was, roughly, half that of the United States as a whole. In Roseto, “there was no suicide, no alcoholism, no drug addiction, and very little crime. They had no one on welfare, no peptic ulcers…people were dying of old age. That’s it….Roseto lay outside everyday experience, where the normal rules don’t apply. What Wolfe (the researcher) began to realize was that the secret of Roseto wasn’t diet, exercise, genes or location. IT HAD TO BE ROSETO ITSELF…The Rosetans were healthy because of where they were from, because of the world they had created for themselves in their tiny little town in the hills.” - Outliers. Malcolm Gladwell

Life Choices

“…The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.  Some of the choices are obvious: Whether or not to stay in school? Whether or not to get pregnant?  Whether or not to hit the bottle?  Whether or not to keep this job you hate until you get another better-paying job? Whether or not to save some of your money, or saddle yourself with huge payments for that new car? Some of the choices are seemingly insignificant: Whom to go to the movies with?  Whose car to ride home in?  Whether to watch the tube tonight, or read a book on investing?  But, and you can be sure of this, each choice counts.  Each choice is a building block - some large, some small.  But each one is a part of the structure of your life…” - Neil Boortz

The Team Motif

"The magic that transforms a group into a team, is the play. A system of play that has to include everyone in both the attacking and the defensive phase. And in this context, it is clear that whoever is closest will have the most solutions. And by close I mean a compact team. In the defensive phase it means that you will you will burn less energy, because 10-metre runs don't wear you out like 20-, 30-, 40-metre runs. "The team will get there first, it will be calmer because it can apply pressing, have more collaboration. And during an attacking phase it will have lots of alternatives because everyone can move. This is the difference between a very organic team, a team with great understanding, and a team that has a collective ... many teams have soloists, and these break the harmony. Barcelona don't have soloists, we didn't have soloists, Ajax didn't have soloists. We had people who played with the team, for the team, all over the pitch, for the whole game." - Johan Cruyff


"Goalkeeping is the art of doing very little exceptionally well." - Anon


Winning is the reality of being a manager…I accept this kind of situation. And I have dealt with it many times. I know that many times somebody is going to punish me, but I have never been KO-ed. I’ve been on the floor many times but I will stand up and continue fighting…it’s not just about style…it’s about mentality.” - Slavisa Jokanovic – Fulham F.C. manager (Jokanovic took over and guided Fulham from the English Championship relegation zone to a place in the Championship playoffs May 2017)

European Soccer Finance

For him, is a realistic price. He is naturally a strong man. His mind is really open. His capacity for learning is at a high level. He’s a good professional kid.” - Slavisa Jokanovic – Fulham F.C. manager (Discussing the fee for trading – Fulham’s 17 year old left back Sessegnon for 50 million pounds - $65,000,000)

Fifa – At it again.

Hopes were high when he made his first overseas visit on Easy Jet, eschewing Jerrome Valcke’s alleged habit of turning business trips to Russia into family holidays on Fifa’s private plane. But the subsequent narrative under his watch has become grim reversion to the old Zurich tropes: the opacity, the obfuscation, the love of excess…Infantino agreed to host this week’s Fifa congress in Bahrain…a repressive Gulf State that has more cannisters of tear gas than people.” - Oliver Brown – Daily Telegraph Football Correspondent (Re: Gianni Infantino – FIFA Successor to Sepp Blatter)

Team Chemistry

My team-mates help to take a lot of the pressure away and we win and lose together. But do put a lot of pressure on myself, as I always want to be the best I can be, improve and play to the best of my ability.’ - Nikita Parris. Striker – Everton Women F.C.

Planning ahead.

No one says “no” to you in Japan, it’s always “yes.” But when they say yes three times and nothing happens, then that means it a no…that frustration can build up and what we need to do is make sure we create an environment where the players are comfortable with that arrangement.” - Eddie Jones, English National Team Rugby coach visiting Japan making preparations for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The virtues of hiring former players for the coaching staff of a club.

At every club it is a good idea to have someone who has that bond with the place. It’s important to have that continuity, instead of changing all the positions in the backroom staff.” - Duncan Ferguson. Everton F.C. (Almost the entire coaching staff of the Everton Academy are former Everton players.)

Love of The Game

“ I just think you look at the people who have had these long careers and they absolutely adore the game…it’s not a job if you absolutely love it…I quite like the soreness and the bumps after a game, even when there are mornings I can hardly move. I have the mindset of going until my body says, no more. I would much rather go on too long than think back that I still had a couple of years left in me.” Richard Hibbard. Rugby Union player. Gloucester Rugby

The Influence of Coaching

My managers changed my life and my habits as a human being.” - Mauricio Pellegrino – Southampton Manager

What is coaching?

Inspiring players to embrace repetition.


You cannot super impose our views and morality on the events of a hundred years ago.”

Historian referring to the carnage and waste at the Battle of The Somme.

British 400,00

Germans 500,000

French 200,000


Futility is a blind man, looking for a black pig, in a black painted room, with the lights turned out when the pig isn’t there!” - Blackburn U16 trying to get the ball from Manchester City U16 in a friendly game Saturday August 25, 2018.