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Chapter 2:- The Gold Standard

So, you want to be a success? Excellent. Let these words ring in your ears from the moment you get up to the moment you close your eyes and fall back to sleep.

Heart. Hunger. Desire. Passion. Today. Tomorrow. ALWAYS.

Heart. Hunger. Desire. Passion. But not just for some of the game. No. For all of it. Not just for two or three games in a row, or just against the, " Big Clubs ". No. Heart. Hunger. Desire. Passion - Today. Tomorrow. ALWAYS. This is not sports psychology. This is a mentality. This is a philosophy. This is a way of life. It defines who we are as people in any walk of life. It’s what separates the true winners from everyone else. 

This is what Chris Porter the former York City goalkeeper has, every single minute of every single day of his life, inside and outside of football, and this is why he is so very, very special. 

Chris is the Gold Standard to which I measure every other footballer I coach. He's the living proof of the work that I do and all that I stand for.

He epitomises everything that is the, “ Spirit “ of Rocky Balboa – a never ending hunger that fights and battles to the bitter end with everything he's got no matter what, no matter what. 

Chris trained with me in the gym for years. He went to train at York in the morning, that's roughly 1 hour there by car, and then came straight back to train with me ( his girlfriend Emma, and Big Mark Farrell ) in the gym, games permitting, 5 days a week. 

When I say train, I do mean train. Totally focused, maximum intensity, day in, day out weight training. Let's not forget that at this time Chris wasn't even the No.1 keeper at York.

Chris was one of those players who hadn't had the luck, or the proper week in week out goalkeeping training simply because of the very severe financial restrictions that clubs like York have, and he's never had the money either. Yet not withstanding this, through thick and thin and totally skint, he continued to believe in himself 100%, and he worked, and worked, and worked, and worked until he made the first step happen.

Then, when Chris Brass was finally sacked by York City and replaced By Billy McEwen, we were able to go a step further. On an evening, after all the other training, we worked at his house, night, after night, after night, on developing everything that is

This is Heart. This is Hunger. This is Desire. This is Passion.

People like Chris don't do all of this just for the money. No. They do it for the respect. They do it for the honour. They do it for the glory. They do it for the club, the manager, and for the fans. But most of all, they do it for their own place in footballing history. 

Chris was born to lead. Chris was born to motivate. Chris was born to be the captain of a team and he was born to do what Vinny Jones did for Wimbledon. He just needed someone to give him that chance. Laugh if you will. You won't be the first, and you won't be the last. But I believe in Chris. Chris believes in Chris, and we'll never give in, and we'll never give up. Not now. Not ever. Together we will succeed, be it on or off the pitch. Why ? Simple. Success is born in the mind and it comes from the heart. When you truly believe in yourself with all your heart, even when all those around you don’t, absolutely anything is possible, absolutely anything.

Chris is my hero. Chris is my inspiration. But most of all, Chris is my true friend, and this's what makes it so very, very special. 

Love. Feeling. Emotion. As in life, this is what coaching should be all about.

So. You want proof ? So. You want to know what it takes ? So you want to understand what I'm talking about ? I’ll give you the proof. Just go and watch Chris play in goal, at whatever level he's playing and you'll see exactly the same fighting, " Spirit " and you'll see exactly the same desire to win, because this defines who Chris Porter is. It's that simple. 

Go in the stands and look how he issues commands and motivates his team mates even before the first whistle has gone. Look how he then turns to the crowd to get the passion going. Listen to the way he communicates with his defence. Listen to what he says, how he says it and when he says it. Look at his traffic warden style hand gestures that're designed to be crystal clear. Look at how he, “ lives “ every single minute of the game to see where he can make a real difference to the outcome of the game. See what he does just before half time and towards the end of a game to help ensure that his team don’t make mistakes at these critical times. Look how he's constantly seeking to instantly release the ball the moment he gets it in an attempt to launch the blistering counter attack. Look how he raises the crowd at the right time, at the time when his team mates need it the most. See the sheer joy as he leads the post match celebrations for the fans and congratulates his team mates and manager on a job well done.

All these things don’t just happen by chance. No. each move is carefully reasoned over, planned to perfection and practiced, over, and over, and over, and over until they become part of him, now and forever more. Each move comes directly from the heart, still as passionate as the day he played football with his dad in the back garden all those years ago. 

Is Chris Perfect. No. Of course he’s isn't. Does he make mistakes? Of course he does, even the great Pele’ made mistakes. But whatever the outcome, one thing was always guaranteed. Chris was always back to work with me Monday as he had been since we started, as hungry as ever, and asking the very same questions as he did on that very first day.

How can I improve ? What more can I do? What do I need to do in training today that I didn't do in training yesterday to ensure that I'm better than I was yesterday? How can I help those around me to do the same? 

Chris’s dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire. He has a hunger that never, never dies.

This is Heart. This is Hunger. This is Desire. This is Passion. Today. Tomorrow. ALWAYS.


This is why Chris Porter is the gold standard to which I judge every other player.

So why didn't Chris make it big if he was so good, I hear you cry.

The answer to this is simple and it underpins everything that winning a football trial is all about, which I'll discuss in much greater detail as this other section of the site unfolds.

So read on...,

Thank you for your time.