April 14, 2021, 7:28

How to become a professional footballer

How to become a professional footballer

I’m Smithy and, whilst I love my job as a presenter at Sky, my real dream was always to become a professional footballer, pulling the strings at Spurs.   

To be fair, I did spend a few years playing semi-pro but, making it to the big time? That was completely out of my reach.

It did make me wonder though – what does it really take to become a top footballer?

Pundits often speak of the need for dedication, hard work, and commitment, but surely there’s more to it than busting a gut in training?

So, to get a real insight into elite-level football, I teamed up with Shell V-Power and BMW M to see if there’s any chance I’ll be putting it on a plate for Harry Kane anytime soon.

To aid me, I’m enlisting the help of Jamie Velocity.

Jamie is widely regarded as one of the best individual performance coaches in the world, having worked with the likes of Anthony Joshua, John Terry and Cristiano Ronaldo. So if anyone knows what it takes, it’s Jamie.

He’s going to put me through a series of rigorous tests and score me on my skill, speed, agility and endurance to see what I’m made of.

However, so I don’t waste too much of Jamie’s time, I sought the advice of three celebrity mentors on performing under pressure.

Firstly, I teamed up with presenter and motor racing driver, Jodie Kidd.

I picked her up in the brand new BMW M5 and, despite being a far better driver than I could ever hope to be, Jodie was a great passenger and with even better advice.

Jodie told me it was all about three things – training, eating well and sleeping right.

Jodie's three keys to success – training, eating well and sleeping right!

That was something I could get on board with. However, she then went on to say something about getting up at 5am every day to make the most of every hour. It was then I had my first doubts about my chances of running out at Wembley…

Next up was Sam Fane, presenter of the hugely successful YouTube channel ‘Seen Through Glass’.

Sam has built up a huge online following through his passion for cars, quitting a successful career in PR to pursue his dream.

Sam spoke about the importance of blocking out all negative thoughts, concerns and focusing only on the positives – something easier said than done when your job involves engaging with some of the less diplomatic YouTube commenters.

However, if he can focus on the positives and ignore the naysayers, then so can I.

I then picked the brains of a man who knows all about the importance of a positive attitude and staying cool under pressure, Colin Turkington. Colin is a Team BMW British Touring Car Championship driver and two-time champion, so who better to get some last nuggets of advice from?

I took him out for a drive and, in between critiquing my clutch control, Colin told me how his pre-race routine was key for him. Apparently, it’s vital to use positive visualisation techniques to get in the much-heralded ‘zone’.

So, with all that brilliant advice on board, I feel ready to tackle anything that Mr Velocity can throw and give Mauricio Pochettino some selection headaches.

Bring it on…


You’ve seen my #drivetoperform, and now I want to see yours! For the chance to win a BMW Driving Experience for four, simply upload a message, photograph or short video (max. 60″) to Twitter, which depicts or describes your proudest performance moment and embodies the phrase ‘drive to perform’. Just remember to include the hashtags #drivetoperform #shell and #bmw with your entry…and good luck! For full terms and conditions click here.

Source: skysports.com

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