2016 GO!!

01 January 2016

I have this weird and wonderful feeling that 2015 is going to be a fantastic year.

 

As I write this, I’m sitting at my desk in my offices Zürich attic. It’s 26 minutes into 2016. For the past hour I’ve just been hearing the loud bangs, explosions and screams from all the celebrations going on outside.

I’ve sat here since 11am this morning. It’s the first new year where I could care less about what I do to celebrate a flip in the calendar. That’s why I’m sitting here sacrificing the big party reminiscing, planning and getting ready for a BIG 2016 instead.

2015 lived up to it’s expectations. I knew it was going to be a great year for me. Not exactly in terms of football, but with everything else in life. To summarise:

  • I said goodbye to Amsterdam (my home for 2.5 years) and moved to Winterthur, Switzerland to start my exchange semester.
  • I impressed a 3. liga football team (7th tier) so much when I arrived, that they were willing to make me one of their only paid players. I ended up dropping to the bench, scored no goals and gave no assists. I even had to painfully argue with the club president to get my salary despite hardly contributing to the games (I needed that money! Switzerland is damn expensive). That sucked.
  • But summer came in full-swing. I finished my uni classes and passed most of them, meaning that I had just two requirements left to tick off to get that stupid piece of paper. 1. Writing a dissertation. 2. Completing an internship.
  • I got what every student with shitty grades from a shitty university should never receive: A 6-month internship at a big Swiss bank, technically making me one of the highest paid interns in the world.
  • I started making more money ever before. I was doing something cool in technology and learning from smart people.
  • I travelled to Washington and Denver to see family with my own cash. I went on a cool little holiday and drove a rental car around the island of Sardinia with my girlfriend.
  • This autumn has been the season of short weekend trips going to Münich for Oktoberfest, twice to London, Milan and Germany.
  • 2015 is the year where I pretty much became self-sufficient (meaning I don’t need anymore help from my parents). I pay for everything now, including my flights back home for holidays in Feb. So this is a cool feeling and a big one of independence. The year has been nothing short of awesome, feeling lucky and fortunate for everything.

 

me-oberwinti (tuned)

April – A pic with the team I joined and later left

seefeld

July – pre-season with FC Seefeld

training late night

An everyday event – Late night training

switzerland

All the time – Seeing the beauty of Switzerland..

 

The real highlight

I didn’t even mention what has really been the highlight of my life this year.. and that’s Effective Football Training (@traineffective). In 2015 I got super focused. OBSESSED with making Effective a success. So much so that I’m spending tonight working on it.. and that’s been the kind of story with it the whole year. Everything is behind the scenes at the moment, but I’m so excited to show you guys in 2016 what I feel is going to be the dream tool for every motivated footballer and athlete.

Confidence is not even a word I need to discuss right now. I just know that from a business standpoint, I have all the skills to make Effective a success. I know more about myself, what excites me and what I want to do. I’m always improving with my time management and productivity habits. I’m perfecting a routine so that I’m always all-in with Effective and in my downtime I’m predictably doing three things: Playing football, hanging with my girlfriend or just working again because I don’t want to have downtime 😀

Hard work!.. But life is good!

It’s just motivation man. Everyday I feel there’s not enough time in the day to do everything I want to do because there’s so much I’m motivated to do. Every time I go to sleep I’m too excited for the next day.. in fact I don’t even want to sleep but I have to otherwise, I’ll be too tired the next day to function.

One of my biggest sources of inspiration right now is Gary Vaynerchuk. #AskGaryVee has become my go-to dose of motivation this year and his personality and attitude are rubbing off on me. He is the closest thing that I have to a real-life mentor in a passion-pursing sense.

He preaches the hustle and putting in the work. Gary says “You need to put in 12-hour, 14-hour, 16-hour day’s if you want to become successful”. So I do just that. I’m putting his New Yorker hustle mindset to full effect.

2015 was big, 2016 will be bigger!

2016 is going to be a huge year! I feel like I already know that 2017 will be big as well. In-fact 2018, 2019, 2020.. watch out! It’s my time and it’s getting to my moment now with everything!!

My heart and soul is invested into everything I’m doing right now. I just feel so happy and fortunate.. like so much so that I literally feel like I’m drowning with it and that I almost need a down moment to force some balance in me again. It feels like things are too good to be true.. BUT at the same time I’ve worked for this and have made a conscious effort 24 hours a day for many years to be in the zone where I am now. So really, I feel like nothing can stop me!!

And If you are still like, Nick are you still actually training? Are you still chasing the dream?

My answer…..Yes, and I’m not wasting a minute!!

 

253 days

In 2015 I used a spreadsheet to track all of my output. I trained/played 253 days. In those days I completed:

  • 91 strength training sessions between 30 – 90 min. 
  • 78 team training’s (with 5 different teams btw)
  • 47 individual training sessions  between 35-90 min.
  • 15 individual training sessions between 20-25 min.
  • 34 running/conditioning sessions >30 minutes
  • 26 running/conditioning sessions < 20 minutes
  • 19 times I stayed after training to work on free kicks, finishing, crossing, etc.
  • 21 halves of football analysis and taking notes (which is not nearly enough)
  • 15 yoga sessions
  • 18 matches played (highlight: playing against FC Zürich II)
  • 6 times I stayed after the match to do extra conditioning work.

 

The truth about becoming successful as a professional football player

What matters more than those numbers above, is a realisation I came to. I realised that the world has a way of rewarding people and handing success to those who want it the most and work the hardest. I’ve heard this many times before and thought it was a cliche, but it’s the truth.

I remember earlier this year watching a pundit talk about New Zealand’s success after they won the Rugby WC. His colleague asked him “Why are NZ players so good? Why arne’t the players in competing nations as good as they are?” He responded along the lines of “because the other players don’t work hard enough”. The colleague said “But all countries would have worked equally as hard!” which the pundit responded “Well I thought was working hard too in my playing career, but there was so much more I could have done and that’s why other players were better!”

All these years I thought I could technically “cheat” the system and just put 10,000 hours of focused practice in to become world class. Since playing for Australia is not technically world-class, I could train 7,500 and make it to the team. Simple right? Wrong. While the 10,000 hour rule still holds a lot of truth, there’s something about putting all your mental resources and focus on one thing in your life. I’ve realised that in parallel to my learnings to my future 2016 success in business (yes! I already know I’m going to be successful!!)

Metaphorically, business has been my 9-5pm and football has been my 5-9pm. Making football your life five or six evenings a week is simply not enough to become a professional footballer. Football is what you need to eat, breath and sleep 7 days a week so you can give that extra 5% which makes you just that much better than your opponent. It’s probably something to do with the sub-conscious mind, but to be successful you can’t just be focused on your goal… you must be hyper-focused. It must mean everything to you.. like Effective is right now.

This video with Rio Ferdinand confirms everything I’m talking about. If you don’t watch the full-vid, at least watch these parts:

2:04 – Observing everything that Alan Shearer did

3:25 – Ronaldo doing extra after practice at Man Utd

4:30 – Visualising how he would stop his opponent when he went to bed

I’ve put my focuses in 2, 3, 4 or 5 things in life and that’s why I haven’t yet succeeded in football. To succeed, I must (and you must) make it the thing you think about all day.

 

Before I go..

I’m sorry, I don’t update this blog as much as I used to, but I promise you that I’m not done chasing the dream. In summertime I’ll be done with this internship, officially done with uni and then… I just may do something crazy 🙂

If I really go do this crazy thing, I promise you will be the first to know/hear/see it.

..

I always write these posts to myself, but my final corny message to you as the reader is this:

Always follow your heart, bro.

2016 – READY, SET, GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

thumbs up

04:43am as I finish writing. Time to get the first tram home.

 

P.S. I know I can sound like a humblebrag in this post and I’m just talking about myself. This is like a note to myself and one of the only chances where I can reflect where I still figure life out. I don’t really need to publish this, but hey, might as well take you guys along on the journey….

Comments

  1. @nickhumph says:

    Well done nick this is a test. 😊⚽️

In 2009, I was an average soccer player with a dream. I started this blog to document my journey from local underdog to getting offered over $100,000 in soccer scholarships, a contract to play professionally and the experience of playing in Europe.
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