The rest of the team had already clattered out along the changing room corridor and out on to the pitch. Selby sat on the bench, bending over his right foot and adjusting the laces on his boot. His coach stood before him, a ball under his arm.
“If you’re going to make it, really make it, in this game, you have to really want it.” The coach spoke with a vital intensity, “You have to have the game in your blood. Live it, breathe it, eat it, and sleep it. It has to take over your soul. It has to be the reason you wake up in the morning and what you dream of at night.
Being the best you can be won’t be enough. One day your mind will wander and down you’ll go. No, you have to believe you're the best. You have to make every movement, every thought on the pitch out there, an affirmation of your true belief. Your self belief.
You have to have absolute faith in yourself. No questions. No doubts. Absolute unconquerable faith. Every move you make, every angle you run, every time you connect with the ball, every time you respond to an opponent’s intentions is an act of faith
Now get out there and show me some of that faith in action.”
“Yes, Mr Watkins,” replied Selby as he finished off lacing his boots. Then he trotted out to join the rest of the under-eights on the school field. He had a slight earache but they’d put him on the wing as usual. If he ran about a bit and kept out of the way, he probably wouldn’t get hurt. They might not even pass to him.
And they were having sausages for dinner.