In the dressing rooms of Manchester United’s Academy there is a photo of Lio Messi cleaning his boots before a game he played with the National Team of Argentina in 2014.
This photo, they say, is there in order to remind to youngsters that they should remain humble despite success and that they should never lose their connection with reality.
And then, they pay some of these exact youngsters more than 20K per week when they are selected for the first team, in order to….remain I guess humble and connected to reality.
I am not claiming of course that some young stars should not get paid such a big amount of money. After all, we live in a free world and within a free economy with laws of supply and demand.
What I am arguing about though, is that in order for such a young athlete to remain humble despite all that money dancing around him, he must live and act within a consistent, ground to earth and supporting environment.
Family, agents, team staff, scientific advisors, must all be a valuable chain for the athlete that not only give him the right guidance but moreover, they themselves act and behave with humility, patience, calmness and quality.
Because if they are overweening, then it is almost impossible for any young athlete to act otherwise.
Do not forget the ones who frame athletes in their everyday lives. From those people the athlete learns and unlearns, from those people the athlete is inspired, disappointed or thrilled.
And do not forget that vast amount of money so as the prospect of big careers do not only bring the joy of their conquest. They also bring the responsibility of their management.