This is for Rino Gattuso. I will follow with a later post that describes the attributes of the Stalwart, along with the other two types of players. I show my players many clips on Youtube, it is a great resource for footage of some things, like dribbling and scoring goals. It is bad for things that require subtlety, like good passing, defense, and goalkeeping. Here’s what I told them:
“These clips are about competitiveness and combativeness. No one would call Genaro Gattuso a wizard on the ball, but he is a very important player for both his club team and his country. Watch how hard he plays and ask yourself how you measure up. I remember Will said he felt he was playing “berserk” on Sunday. No one knows berserk until they see Gattuso:
Here he is fouling because he dives in a lot.
The French commentator repeats a version of the old soccer adage “The ball can go past, the man can go past — but never both.”
Does he play too hard? He has 89 yellow cards in 312 games, over 25%. But only one red card, that was this year.”
After watching these clips, my boys starting playing much harder and better football. Gattuso became one of our role models. When I wanted more effort, I would yell out “Gattuso!” and look for the change. So it was with much sadness that I heard he had retired from international football, after Italy’s horrible showing in South Africa. But I loved his quote:
“When I do something I’ve got to do it with enthusiasm and desire, otherwise I’m a third-division player,”
Gattuso knows where his strength lay – in his effort and courage. Another great Stalwart player is Dirk Kuyt of Holland. Kuyt has said before that
“there are players who can change the game with a single touch (Stars and Geniuses), and those that serve the team (Stalwarts), I have no problem admitting I’m in the second category.”
No team can succeed without a compliment of Stalwart players, 1/3 is a good ratio.