In football, as in life, mind is really important. Having a mind free of ties and prejudice, makes you feel better. These have been proven. My experience tells me that, when you suffer it and you don´t know it, yo lose energy and your efficiency decreases. You fight against your imaginary opponents and the real ones beat you without any effort.
It was June 1990 in Italy, where we were playing, but not enjoying, a World Cup full of prospects. I was one of the team whom suffer more about being intoxicated. I looked around and everything were shadows that made me feel small, I was suspecting about everything and feeling full of insecurity. My motor was stopping me. My brain could not overcome it. I have to scream after three goals against Corea to eject my insecurity. Critics were not stopping me. It was myself. Only me. Although that scream, “I deserve it…”, was full of hurting infection. I didn´t know it, today I do.
I´m telling all this with the security that from that moment I learned, enjoyed and improved. I´m still doing it in other circumstances. That scream scared that ghosts and I learned how to distinguish between pressure and what can be consider fear.
Now that I am a coach I do not allow that past ghosts to reflect on me. Pressure is something good, it make me be alert, it keeps me alive. Fear corrodes you and I can´t permit it because that will be transmitted to my players. I do not stop and I will never do it, because if that happen, I will be as I was before, the eternal dissatisfied.
The one that changed fear for pressure was younger but less competitive. Today I am older and we can say that experience helps me, but more than anything being afraid of nothing. Nothing.