Being a professional footballer is one of the most coveted jobs in the world. However, it also comes with its challenges; not only do players face hard work and intense competition, but with social media continuing to bridge the gap between fans and players, footballers face the added pressure of being a round-the-clock role model to young fans – both on and off the pitch.
Hitting headlines and facing mounting criticism, how difficult is it for footballers to maintain their focus? As 2015 drew to close, Sheffield Wednesday’s Jose Semedo sought to answer this question through his first literary venture, Win the Day – Courage, Positive Thinking and the Warrior Spirit.
A far cry from the claims of infidelity and indulgence that have come to surround the so-called beautiful game, Semedo’s debut book is one that celebrates athleticism over celebrity. Working with Sports Psychologist Sam Kotadia, Semedo reminds readers of the vital importance of mental strength that must accompany both players’ professional and personal lives.
Foreworded by a man who is no stranger to celebrity, Cristiano Ronaldo endorses the words of his childhood friend. But this book is not concerned with name-dropping; instead it focusses on “the warrior spirit which all of us have inside us irrespective of our professions,” notes Semedo.
“I want to inspire the younger generation...” Semedo explains, “It doesn’t have to be just a footballer but anyone… Many concentrate on their body and lifestyles but ignore the mental aspects. My aim through this book is to get the message across that anyone can win and be their best.”
With 2015 witnessing a surge in the popularity and profitability of health and wellbeing books – a trend that is set to continue through 2016 - it could be that in seeking to draw young people into this field, Semedo is on to a winner. It is likely that 2016 will see a rising trend in ‘mindful media’ permeating young adult’s reading lists. At the very least however, Win the Day will remind a captive young audience of the real beauty found in the game of football.
Words: Taruka Srivstava
Images source: Win The Day