Gael Clichy is an English Premier league legend, winning titles at Manchester City and the famous "Invincibles" Arsenal team that set the record for going unbeaten in a season. Gael came onto the Ultrain Podcast platform to share tips and advice for young athletes. Ultrain's Troy Gordon sat down with Clichy and he shared some lessons we think parents of athletes could share with their kids.
1) Recovering from injury
While dealing with an injury at Manchester City, Gael Clichy told a story of how he and Vincent Kompany were recovering from an injury and the training staff had them doing the same routine. He said "Vincent is almost a foot taller than me and weigh more than me, either Vincent or me is not getting the best out of the workout routine". He suggested that athletes should have workouts designed to their body types and style of play - not a general recovery plan for every player.
Have a conversation with your kids' recovery coach about their workouts based on the style that they play and their body type .
2) Not being a starter
In his interview, Gael spoke about his time arriving to Arsenal at 16 years old and having to sit on the bench behind veteran and English legend Ashley Cole. Knowing that he had the ability to play and going to practice each week that we would be 2nd behind Ashley Cole in Arsene Wenger's lineup, Clichy found it tough. However, he remained resilient and told himself every week of practice that he would perform well so his coach would consider him and have to make a tough decision to pick Cole over him. That kept him ready for when his time came and he eventually became the starting left-back on Arsenal.
It's okay to ask the coach the reasons why your kid isn't in the starting lineup. If it is that another player is better; ensure that he/she competes at every training session for that spot and makes the coaches decision tough to make.
3) Having a mentor
"This guy was my favorite player, he became my teammate and then my friend, that player is Thierry Henry". Gael spoke about how influencial the legend Thierry Henry was in his career at Arsenal. Dealing with life as a pro athlete week in and week out in London could be tough for many especially moving at 16 years old from France. His mentor kept him believing in his dream and inspired to work hard every day at practice.
It's okay to reach out to former players for advice. They can share experiences and help you with the game. At Ultrain we have professional players you could video call with your friends for mentorship and advice.
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