The same approach Pep Guardiola has taken to soccer has many applications in ‘real-life’, and in this article we will look at three aspects of his approach that can be applied to bring success to anyone. Guardiola’s teams have always played with the most aesthetically pleasing style possible, and when one of his teams is in full flow it is difficult to think of how the game could be played any better. However, as much as the style is something to be admired, Guardiola doesn’t set out to perfect the tiki-taka approach to the beautiful game. In fact, Guardiola hates the tiki-taka label. For him, it is a means to an end.
After Manchester City lost to Basel, Guardiola said this: “Just passing the ball without any movement, to just pass and pass for the sake of it is nothing. We just passed for the sake of passing. That’s not football.”
Even back in 2014 Pep had this to say: “I loathe all that passing for the sake of it, all that tiki-taka. It’s so much rubbish and has no purpose. You have to pass the ball with a clear intention, with the aim of making it into the opposition’s goal. It’s not about passing for the sake of it. That’s why you have to pass the ball, but only if you’re doing it with a clear intention. It’s only to overload the opponent, to draw them in and then to hit them with the sucker punch. That’s what our game needs to be. Nothing to do with tiki-taka.”
For all the style and entertainment, and for all the talent he has coached and the trophies won, Guardiola approaches the game with the same mentality of Messi, and it is no surprise that both are the result of the Johan Cruyff legacy. It was Cruyff who said “Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is.”
In order for Cruyff to change the world of soccer and leave a mark, he worked tirelessly to perfect simplicity, a mission Guardiola continues as a coach, and Messi epitomizes as a player. Do the simple things perfectly and you will succeed.
Here are the three takeaways for today:
1 – The first step to success is purpose. Style for the sake of style is pointless. It has no value. What is your purpose?
2 – Be patient. Control the things you can control, have intent, and when the time is right make your move.
3 – Don’t wait for opportunities, create them through purposefully through creating an environment where the balance of events becomes favorable.
Trophies and championships are not the goal for Guardiola. As soon as a championship or trophy is won a new goal is set and he moves on, working hard to continue improving. As Pep said, “The only way I know is, knowing when you are resting they are preparing better, to beat us. So we have to prepare more.” Improving performance is always the goal, which is good because the one thing we can control in life is our own performance.
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