What did we learn from Marcus Rashford's new book?
Marcus Rashford has become one of the most famous young men in the United Kingdom over the past year or so, as much due to his off-the-field work as his footballing heroics.
You might expect someone who’s just written their first book to say that. But Rashford’s love of the printed word runs much deeper than that:
“For me, learning how to believe in myself came when I started reading books,”he says.
“It showed me how to explore the possibilities within myself… Books are powerful because they allow you to dream about different worlds and to look at different things in different ways.”Amen!
HIS FIRST NICKNAME
Apparently, Rashy’s first nickname was
“Shot”, picked up after he got smashed in the face by a powerful shot while playing in goal.
“I sprang back up like it was nothing,”he says proudly. He also reveals he has no middle name, which means Roy Maurice Keane still reigns supreme at the top of the United middle-names chart.
“My promise to you guys is that I’m never going to change who I am.”
“There was this one challenge though… I’ll never forget it. The booklet asked me to do 20 kick-ups before kicking the ball high in the air and then controlling it again on the half-turn.”He eventually conquered the challenge, but admits it took him ages.
“Next time you watch me play, see if you can spot it when I take a ball out of the air. It took a lot of hard work to learn this, but I’m always proud when I pull it off.”Based on his goals against Sheffield United and Granada this season, it’s clear Rashy has well and truly mastered it…
Goal of the Day: Rashford v Sheff UtdVideo
Everyone is frightened of failing. And, unfortunately for Marcus, football is a game of failure.
“My life is full of mistakes – as a profession, football depends on them! If everyone did their job properly 100 per cent of the time, then every game would end 0-0.”Rashford cites Muhammad Ali as an inspiration to help him deal with failure, because of the unusual arc of his career.
“Ali is considered the greatest not because he was near perfect in the ring, but because he was amazing at how he bounced back when things went wrong, and stayed true to himself throughout.”
“But I DO get stressed out when I’m cooking. I’ve only started doing it recently, and I am so bad at making dinner when I’m already hungry. I get really hasty and start making ‘Rash’ mistakes. Pun intended!”
Marcus says the last time he felt nervous playing football was in the Under-16 Victory Shield tournament, where he was playing for England against Northern Ireland.
“I was nervous and eager to impress, and it caused me to get lost in my own head. I was getting so fixated on what was going wrong that I forgot all my processes for making them go right… The whole experience showed me I wasn’t someone who played well if I thought too much about a big game. I just needed to remember that I was picked for that team for a reason, and I had a job to do.”
“full of laughter and happiness”and cook the most amazing corn porridge, but she taught him how to think in a more mature way. She taught him that he had to have multiple approaches to a situation – rather than asking her to make him porridge over and over again! This led to him seeking out clips of all different types of players on YouTube – not just Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo as before. He ended up even studying defenders, so he could work out what they were doing and how to out-think them.
You Are a Champion is aimed at children, but as a 34-year-old, I found plenty of useful advice contained within its pages. Marcus says throughout that we should never stop learning but I think it’s fair to say, as adults, we sometimes get distracted by the small details of our circumstances and daily lives, so we end up losing the bigger picture. Focusing on the long-term things we want to achieve and the practical ways in which we can get there is something that we should all do more often, whatever our age.