Weekly Review 22nd – 28th November 2010 [character]

29 November 2010

Building Character in Sports

Joey Barton Character

A player’s character. I guess it’s what separates them from the rest. How they react, if they dive, how they celebrate, if they tend to look happy, or sad. The way you play your football reflects your personality is what my big Coach Janos said to me on a drive home, he explained this to me after talking a little to me about a training match we had last week. “Sometimes you look like your pissed off, or don’t want to be there, but that’s not true because you love football because you come to every training, you want the ball, and you smile on occasion”, he says. “But if I were a coach who had never seen you play before and I looked at you, I would get the impression that yeah he’s got some skill, but he looks like that he doesn’t want to be there.” This is something I’ve never thought about before, so it kind of surprised me when he brought up the topic. I am definitely not an angry person, I love having fun, being sarcastic, and making lame jokes. But, when I think about it, so many of the young players I know almost always have this pissed off look when their playing. I think it’s just when your really serious about doing something, you tend to have this personality on the pitch which is really not a reflection of yourself.  Your teammates mess up a pass, they suck, they didn’t pass to you, etc. There’s always frustration in the air and you show it. But what I realise now after having this conversation is that you just gotta be yourself. And it’s been said so many times, but it’s only now when I really understand it. Be yourself, have fun with it, it’s a game and of course in football emotions get high, being frustrated doesn’t help your teammates or yourself.

I am that fun player, makes his team smile, be the centre of attention, and at the same time have a seriousness on the pitch which is achieved by working hard and wanting the ball all the time. I see myself as exactly this type of player, but it’s covered by frustration and being self-critical on the pitch. Shit happens which doesn’t reflect your hard work… it just happens. Your defined by how you get over it. So get over it and do better next time.

In a different story this week, I tell my school counselor my situation. He doesn’t know anything about football, but he tells me, you should go to America, play there, get a degree and you’ll be secure in life because you might end up with nothing trying to play football in Europe. I hate this attitude. This attitude of being safe in life is what makes people average. I’ve read many books in the past few years on success and successful people and what I’ve learned is that you can’t become anything without taking a path less traveled. I want to become someone, but not just someone. A massive someone, I want to be one of the most recognized people on the planet. No joke. Being one of the most widely known people ever, I want people to not live average lives. I want everyone to feel like a success. And this is why through football which billions of people know and follow, I want to effect everyone who knows the sport, my ideas because they can really change the world. This sounds corny I know, but that is my vision as a professional player, and this I think this is why I deserve to be a professional footballer who should rise to the top level because of this vision. My Mum tells me I should become a flight attendant and my Dad tells me that I should be proud of myself to reaching the stage I have now. Trust me Mum Dad, you haven’t seen anything yet 😉

Official documents from the agent has arrived, just need to get them signed by Dad and posted. Then the trials. Contract signed. Then the start of a professional career.

Next Weeks Training

20 hours done. I had a goal of taking 1000 shots with my left foot this week, but ended up taking about 600 shots. Left foot is definitely improving, still need to get it to a level where I can confidently shoot with it. So next week I have a goal of taking 800 shots with my left and if I do it, then I’ll reward myself by buying a fresh new pair of sneakers. Problem is that it has started to snow this week, so I’m going to try training outside, but if it proves really difficult and un worthwhile to train then it looks like a lot of game watching and tea in bed next week.

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday  Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Lunch Personal Session (1:00) (1:00 Personal Session) Personal Session (1:30) Personal Session (1:00)
Afternoon Personal Session (2:30) Personal Session (0:30) Personal Session (0:30) Club Training (1:40) Personal Session (2:30)
Evening Club Training (1:40) Club Training (1:40) Club Training (1:40) Personal Session (1:30) Personal Session (1:20)
Late Evening


  1. 2021, Let's Go. says:

    […] being deliberate (like training), having character (something Janos said to me when I was 16), and sticking with […]

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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