What Can Soccer Players Learn From Conor Mcgregor?

Conor Mcgregor is taking the world by storm. Arnold Schwarzenegger says Conor Mcgregor is one of the greatest athletes of all time. He is bold, brash, and so far he is backing it all up.  He is an Irish mixed martial artist with a record of 21-3-0 and has one loss which he avenged in a rematch to Nate Diaz.  Check out some of his highlights below for a little context and (at minute 3:15 you can see he has his own background in soccer) and then lets examine what we can learn from this man. 


1.  He is obsessed with general human movement, which makes his body dangerous, fluid, and unpredictable. 

As you can see in the video below, he loves talking about the "human frame".  Soccer players are often obsessed with the ball, but don't pay enough attention to how their body moves without the ball, or how fluid they are and what they can do in order to control or get to the ball (think bicycle kick).  Conor also really watches what he eats, and pays attention to his body's natural rhythms of desire to train, rest, etc. 


2.   He sticks his neck out with bold statements 

I am not saying you should become a big mouth like Conor and make bold claims about how many goals you will score or how good you will play. However, there is something about big mouths that shows self-belief and risk taking that is necessary for greatness. I'll let Ido Portal, someone I consider a true mentor of mine even though I have never met him, explain: 

“On the subject of ‘Loud Mouths’ and ‘Big Talkers’ let me share with you a point of view that is not common but I enjoy playing with none the less: (instead of the same old same old fucking boredom)

Slick talkers who cant back their big mouth up have exponential decay when future unfolds. 
Humble souls who don’t talk much but then outperform the expectation even just by a little - benefit from exponential growth of their stocks.

For most - better talk small - you might still disappoint but at least you will be perceived as ‘modest’. If you positively surprise - even by a bit - you will be perceived as ‘great’ with MINIMAL performance to back it up.

I suspect this is the source of much ‘modesty’ out there. 

The real lions are the big talkers who outperform their big talk. (Ali, Churchill, Dali, Serge Gainsbourg, Jordan, etc) 
That approach requires some serious backing up due to increased expectations and a pair of kahunas to deal with the risks. They can make their life much simpler and decrease risk by talking smaller but their nature does not support this. 

Big talkers with big backs. Bigger than life. They make things interesting and colorful and they sometimes bounce their field in leaps and bounds forward using their belief, fire of passion, obsession and most importantly their BIG MOUTHS, following the strong rule of imagination-creation:

3.  Realistic but intelligent approach to training 

Conor understands that in order to perform your best, you can't be beat up and exhausted from training. In soccer scrimmaging we don't take the beating of hard sparring, but it is still a great lesson in keeping things as specific as possible while not taking much damage. 


4.  He was extremely mentally tough and didn't play the victim with a devastating injury 

Conor tore his ACL in a fight during the 2nd round. He kept fighting the 3rd adjusting his approach (not possible in soccer!) and turned his injury and a speedy return into a triumph. 


5.  He values the power of the mind, imagination, and creating performance and reality