Welcome to the 5th episode of the Ozkoç and King Soccer Podcast Show
We all have that one place. That one place in our life where we can go and relax and forget about most of our outside troubles. For many people that place is our home, but it could be different for many others. It could be a secluded spot only you know about that’s quiet and calm. Or it could be a place with all of your friends as you joke around and have a good time, distracting you from unwanted thoughts. For a soccer team, that sacred place has got to be the training ground.
People say that an upcoming game is won during the practices leading up to it. When the players and coaches of a club arrive at their training facilities, they know they’re there to get quality work done to stimulate their football brain. They’re also there to spend time with each other and to get to know each other. They can push the criticisms and hustle and bustle from fans and media out of their mind, leaving only enough room for soccer.
“Here’s an example,” Oz starts. “When a player for Manchester United has a bad game he’ll feel dejected and he’ll likely get abused by fans and journalists. The next day when he arrives at the facilities at Carrington, he’ll be greeted pleasantly by staff members, coaches, fellow players. All people he knows are on his side.” Oz smiles as he continues, “When the practices start, he can work to make up for his bad performance with a calm mind.”
Both Oz and Kerry have had countless practice sessions over the years and they never went under appreciated.
“I couldn’t wait for practice days growing up,” says Kerry, “let alone game days.” He would go on to elaborate, “The energy level of me and my teammates was up and we tried to remain positive and driven throughout. Because the training ground is like the last bastion of soccer purity. No matter what’s going on outside. No matter how good or bad the team is doing in the league, it is important to keep the mood around the training facilities positive. Then you know the good times will come.”
Kerry also provides one more reason he relished practice days. “Going to practices was a great excuse for me to not do homework. Definitely my sacred place.”