Words of Hope.

After my last training session on Friday I shared some thoughts with the kids, regarding my time in Ghana but in particular about their future. As I got some good feedback on this, I thought it might we worth publishing it.

„When looking back on the last six weeks, I am deeply impressed by the huge amount of kindness and respect I received here. I am extremely grateful that you have given me the opportunity to serve you as a coach. It was a huge pleasure for me and I will never forget these experiences in my entire life. After six weeks, we got so close, it feels like a huge family right now. Thank you so much to all of you. 🙏🏼

However, as my home is based in a completely different (and maybe even better) part of the world, I also feel a kind of responsibility to pass on some of my personal principles which could help you to never stop losing hope for building a better world in the future. 🚀

Focus on long-term thinking.

Life is not always easy, in fact, sometimes it is really discouraging. Often, it is a back and forth, an up and down. Life is never a straight line. All the more important it is to not get off course during the hard times. A powerful focus on your dreams in the long-term future is that’s why inevitable to progress again and again. You can’t become a world-class footballer, engineer or doctor in 1 or 2 years – but maybe in 10 or 20 years. Everybody is running their own race, in their own time. Keeping that in mind makes you much more patient and resilient, which is a fundamental capability to achieve big goals in life. 🤞🏼

Teamwork makes the dream work.

The best example of how true these words are probably is right here on the pitch. You can be a very good player individually, but by yourself, you will never win championships. The whole should always be more than the sum of its parts – but that requires a huge amount of collaboration within your team. Putting yourself and your ego always first is consequently the worst thing you can do. Take a step back if needed, help your friends and teammates to get better. It might pay off sooner than you think. Not always the best teams are winning, but the most disciplined teams. 🥇

Success without discipline is not real.

If you want to achieve big goals in your life, it requires three things to do so. Talent, Discipline and a little bit of Luck. And the thing you can work on most is discipline, by no doubts. Each of us is talented in an extraordinary way in a specific field. This could be football, but also something else. Build your life upon your individual strengths and work hard to progress continuously. For example, look at Cristiano Ronaldo, obviously one of the best players in history: just a few days after he joined Juventus this summer, one of his new teammates said about him: „It is impossible to follow Cristiano Ronaldo in training. When we arrive, he is already training, when we leave he is still training, I have never seen a player like that.“ Getting better has no expiry date. Take the things that are important to you very seriously and try to get the best out of it – no matter whether it is your job, your education, but also being a great personality as a brother/sister or maybe even later as a father/mother. 🙋🏼‍♂️

Never lose the joy of living.

During the time I have spent here, I also learned some important things. And of them is: don’t forget to be happy. I was incredible for me to see how every one of you appeared here every morning with a big smile. I am sure that you do not have the best circumstances in many ways and that there might also be moments which are quite disappointing. Nevertheless, I always felt like you enjoyed the time on the pitch. To me, that was and still is just extraordinary. Especially, because I know that back home it is often the other way round: people tend to complain, criticise and be worried too often. In this regard, I want to encourage you to never lose this attitude. It makes life way easier and might help you opening many doors in the future. Positivity always wins. 😇

Believe in yourself!

And finally: be self-confident. Success is neither about skin color nor about where you come from. So trust yourself and try to follow your gut feelings. For sure, certain things might go wrong sometimes. But failure is part of the journey, it should be seen as huge opportunities to learn from. Do not let yourself get hold back by too many doubts. Deep inside, every one of you might have a big dream. Some will succeed in making it happen, some will not – that is also part of the reality. But give it a try, figure out what happens if you don’t give up. Sometimes it takes 10 years to get to a moment which changes everything. The worst thing that could happen is recognizing at one point that you missed an opportunity you should have stepped in. Try to avoid this by no means. And use your incredible amount of passion and energy, which you have shown me in recent weeks, to never stop improving yourself in life. If you will do so, I have no doubts that you are able to create a fulfilling life and a better world for you and your beloved ones. ✊🏼

In the end, I wish you all just the very best for your future. You all have a big heart, which is finally the most important thing in life. God bless you and I really hope to see some of you once again in life.“