How a legend thinks about its beloved sport

Diego Maradona

“This is probably my favourite football picture… It epitomises The Man in the Arena…a famous section of Roosevelt’s speech: “It’s not the critic that counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled…the credit belongs to the man IN the arena.” It reminds me of a sketch in a magazine I may have read as a kid…a make believe ‘Roy of the Rovers’ scene brought to life. I wonder what he’s looking at? What’s he thinking? What feelings tear through his body as the crowd encircle him, watching on. Whatever he was experiencing, here’s my (brief) thoughts on becoming Maradona:

  • 1. Learn to love the ball first, then learn to love the space. As Xavi Hernandes said: “I’m thinking about space all day long.” My point? Football requires the capacity to scan constantly.
  • 2. In line with the above…when you scan, work on paying attention to your environment. The subtleties of movement…body weight, shape. Learn to be able to notice when space emerges and then dissolves
  • 3. Dance! Young Brazilians learn Capoeira (a mix of dance and martial art); Vasyl Lomachenko, the world’s greatest boxer right now, stopped boxing as a child to learn traditional Ukranian dance. My point? Learn to move with balance
  • 4. Always play big, bold and bright…with fun, freedom and focus!”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at

I believe Lee Chong Wei or Lin Dan, Susi Susanti or Camilla Martin are no exceptions here. They all still in love with the shuttle. They are also masters of finding spaces on their opponent`s courts. Every one of them has an identical move but they also capable to find a good balance within their games. And finally, whenever I`ve seen them live or on a video, they are always went on court to play based on 4. on the above list.

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