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Goal vs Crystal Palace (2016)


Grit – defined in the Oxford dictionary as courage and resolve; strength of character.

Attributes that successful people possess.

I believe that if you’re passionate enough about something, if you really want to achieve something and you’re willing to put in the work, ‘GRIT’ can help you achieve it!

To me, grit is a mentality. I remember back in my playing days, I competed against some of the best players in the world, and some days my team won, some days we lost, but no matter who I came up against I never went into a game believing I didn’t deserve to be there. Many of the players I competed against were more naturally talented then me…but I worked my socks off and earned my place on that pitch.

Over the span of my career I had many down days, many losses, many managers, coaches and fans who didn’t think I was good enough, but I always had the strength of character to push past all that. It didn’t matter if they believed in me or not because I believed in myself, and I put in the hard work required to improve my small percentages each day.

One day in particular that springs to mind when thinking of occasions where I have demonstrated ‘grit’ would be back in 2016, in a game I played vs Crystal Palace in the premier league. It was a horrible cold night and my touch was all over the place. I was having a stinker and we were losing the game. I had two options, either let my emotions get the better of me or grit my teeth together and dig down deep, I needed to sort myself out and quick!

I stayed positive and kept repeating to myself “my next touch is going to be great” “my next pass will be a good one” and when I did something well I internally praised myself for it. Next thing I knew I had the ball in the back of the net and my second half performance more than made up for my poor start to the game.

We went on to win that match 2-1. My “grit’ mentally served me in that moment.

Keep doing the next right thing, stay positive and focused on your goal, work hard and dig in. That’s what GRIT means to me.

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