Tottenham Hotspur may be one of the best and fittest teams across Europe right now, but Pochettino was keen to strengthen their minds ahead of the Champions League final.
Spurs will be playing in their first ever CL Final tonight against Liverpool, and Poch seems keen to ensure that his players are not overcome by the occasion.
While the team have of course been training in standard football tactics and fitness, he has also taken steps to strengthen mentality by flying in motivation guru Xesco Espar.
These mentality sessions involved the squad members and some staff walking over hot coal bare-footed.
They also took part in some team bonding exercises, including a terrifying arrow challenge. An instructor holds the arrow and places the tip just below the player’s Adam’s apple. The player must then walk towards it until the arrow stem snaps.
Do not try this at home!
Poch said (talkSPORT): “All of them were unbelievably involved. They enjoyed it a lot.
“They were all very brave. And the staff who did it too.
“Your mind is powerful and only you set your limits.
“If you are going to run, of course, you need big legs, muscle and everything but if your mind says, ‘No. I cannot run, you’re going to be tired.’ Then you cannot move. And that is why, before everything, your mind must be ready and focused and your emotions need to be in a good place.
“So our strategy from day one after the Everton game at the end of the league season was to make the priority this area. And then all the areas around it.
“We designed our strategy. Of the activities that we proposed with the players was to walk across hot coals but before that, during two or three hours, we were preparing, doing team bonding.
“When you see the arrows, you think it’s impossible.
“Breaking the arrow against my throat? You say ‘No, come on, I am going to kill myself’.
“Then you put them here, with the sharp tip against your throat and then bang, you break the arrow.
“It’s difficult to explain but I’ve always felt that that energy was with me. I don’t know who taught me about it.
“It’s just inside me. It’s not a thing that I got from my dad or my mum or my brothers or some friends. It was with me, inside, in my mind, in my heart and it’s grown with me.
“And of course when I started to grow up, I started to think, I said: ‘What is going on?’ It was natural, no? But it’s a thing that worked always for me.
“I think it’s helped my career a lot, my belief, my faith, to have these principles with me.
“The most important thing is to learn how you can prepare your mind, to be focused, to be proactive. This is the key in football.”
Spurs Web Opinion:
This sounds absolutely bonkers! However, I don’t know a single Spurs fan who wouldn’t walk over hot coals and take an arrow to the throat to see their team lift the Champions League trophy. Let’s just hope all this training has paid off!
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