Ignoring my manager as a teen gave me a football career




Validation in football is vital for player confidence and progression. The football environment breeds insecurity and paranoia if players and coaches aren't able to hit peak performance consistently.

Peak performance for footballers is the aim; knowing how to reach it is vital; learning how to attain it again and again is the difference between average, good and top players.




Confidence comes with experience or, more likely, 'experiences'. For instance, Wayne Rooney at Manchester United and Phil Foden at Manchester City achieved a lot of successful experiences as teenagers. Their precocious talent was constantly encouraged and given a platform.



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Of course, they are extreme exceptions. The problem is that many young footballers in the game can get blocked from reaching their full potential by negative dressing room dynamics and their lack of experience.

The unforgiving world of elite football is a clash of ego, attitude and selfishness. Some argue that they're all essential to thrive in professional football. This is potentially true when channelled for self-improvement instead of stifling others.






When former CEO of the Scottish FA, Gordon Smith, was starting out in football, he played for Scottish side Kilmarnock FC. A teenage talent that had yet to work out his place at the professional level fully.
Every game for him was a learning opportunity full of vigour, nervousness and naivety.

On one particular occasion, preparing to go and give his all, the manager decided to impart a few choice words of instruction into the ear of the then-young winger Smith.

For all the bravado young players possess, it's usually taken as truth when the manager says something. That is until an individual you see as a peer who can validate their opinion comes along. You see, senior pros can make or break a squad. On a positive note, driven individuals who've achieved and want to continue to do so can facilitate the blooding of new talent.





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Negatively, hard-on-their-luck stalwarts of the game can unintentionally cloud judgment and cause a disconnect. By the way, this isn't just reserved for the playing squad; management and backroom teams are just as susceptible.

Fortunately, Gordon Smith had a first-teamer comfortable with his place in the game and an authenticity to nurture the next generation.

His prompt to totally contradict the manager meant Smith played his natural game, displayed his attributes and garnered a vote of confidence from his manager. This is the beauty of football, you can go against the words of the hierarchy, but if it delivers positive results on the pitch, all is good.




These are footballing sliding doors moments. The differing scenarios are Smith listened to the manager, didn't play his natural game, and just looked ordinary and didn't get singled out as anything special. In another scenario, not listening to the gaffer but not creating a positive outcome, the close-minded manager would've binned him for not listening.

With this in mind, when Gordon Smith came across Flowcess and how it was applied, it resonated with him. He didn't want other players, or managers for that matter, missing opportunities to impact Flow's ability to facilitate peak performance positively.






That pivotal moment way back could've been his end. Again…. Fortunately, he went on to have an illustrious career with Rangers, Brighton and Manchester City, amongst others.

The chance meeting with Flowcess expert Colin Stevenson led them to create Flow Sport. As an industry example of its much-needed role in football, Gordon could quickly reflect on his experiences as a player and time working with players to see where Colin's methods had meaning.




Both are determined to arm players, their support networks and coaches with the ability to tap into Flow by understanding one's own and other's uniqueness. The work could lessen the likelihood of players being lost from the game because of a lack of personal understanding.



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Gordon admits that if that senior pro hadn't been there, who knows what could've happened to his career? If players can eradicate chance to set up a level of understanding and readily available flow protocols, peak performance can be accessed on tap.

With his various roles within the game, CEO, agent, director of football, assistant manager and, of course, player, Smith has readily identified a purpose in the game with Flow Sport.


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