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While coaching the Columbus Crew I had the distinct pleasure of coaching and working daily with arguably the best goalkeeper from the United States Brad Friedel. Brad was nicknamed “The Human Wall” after his incredible performance in the 2002 World Cup. His resume speaks for itself, All-American and National Champion while at UCLA. Professional player with Newcastle FC, Liverpool, Galatasaray S.K, Columbus Crew, Blackburn Rovers, and his current team Aston Villa. As a national team player Brad had the opportunity to play at Three FIFA World Cup Tournaments and has over 80 appearances with our National Team. Dr. Joesph Machnik, the founder of the No1 Soccer camps, was his goalkeeper coach for many of those games.
Brad has achieved just about every conceivable award and recognition possible as a player. He is an incredible person and an incredible athlete. The thing that I found most remarkable when working with Brad was his intensity of purpose, and his incredible mental toughness.
Vince Lombardi summed up exceptional players like Brad Friedel with this quote:
“Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self denial. Also most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will, that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind-you could call it character in action.”
In our last article we discussed the need to overcome and push on. We discussed why the No 1 Soccer Camps utilizes “pressure training” in order to challenge yourself and reach the next level. And we discussed the need to practice with a purpose. Brad Friedel was able to show a group of our campers during a week at the No1 Soccer Camp in Wisconsin a few years back just what it took to truly be the No 1 Goalkeeper in the United States. Brad was on for Thursday night’s pressure training session; in fact he volunteered to do every demonstration. He was working to stay sharp for an upcoming National Team Camp. Brad was unbelievable, completing a group of 20 intense individual exercises lasting 40 seconds each. A remarkable achievement. No one could compete with him. When we took a water break and moved the campers behind the goal for some final demonstrations, Brad insisted that he be allowed to continue, even though fatigue was a reality. After an additional ten exercises in a full size goal and NEVER allowing a goal, the camp erupted in applause and perhaps reverence, for what we all had just witnessed. He refused against all odds to be scored upon! He trained as if every shot was critical; he trained as if the World cup trophy was on the line. Practice makes permanent, and Brad showed all of us that night at the No1 Soccer Camps, what it truly takes to be number 1. But he wasn’t done.
As the campers were excused from the field to shower and get ready for our evening lecture, Brad approached me and asked if I could stay out with him for a little while to work on some crosses and distribution. Incredible, after almost 90 minutes of intense physical and mental training he wanted more. After another hour of supreme technical work, he could finally call it a night. Brad had incredible mental toughness and an incredible desire to reach the next level. He surely has achieved that and more. Brad showed us all “a perfectly disciplined will, that refuses to give in.”
No1 Soccer Camps
To learn more about No 1. Camps regional director Greg Andrulis, No.1 Goalkeeper Camp philosophy, camp dates, and locations visit www.no1soccercamps.com
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