Hardworking, ambitious or talented?

19 July 2022
2 min reading time

Have you ever wondered why some manage to have a great international career, while others, although they were sometimes more talented, are lost and have to choose a different life path? What are the key factors? What do parents and coaches of current Polish representatives pay attention to?.

Most of the top soccer players have two traits in common – ambition and diligence. They never have enough, they want to be a better version of themselves every day. The most popular example is considered to be Cristiano Ronaldo, who is a true titan of work, which is why at the age of 36 he can successfully perform in the best clubs in the world and make a difference everywhere. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Premier League, La Liga or Serie A. Interestingly, Wojciech Szczesny, who is his club teammate at Juventus, once told Foot Truck that the Portuguese still happens to let go sometimes, for that… Robert Lewandowski does not. After all, “Lewy” did not have a huge talent, as a teenager he did not pass the tests at Legia Warsaw. He also did not have sensational physical conditions, which is why they stopped calling him up to the Mazovia National Team. Franciszek Smuda, when he went to watch him in Pruszkow, wanted him to be reimbursed for his gas money, as he had only wasted his time. Maybe he was making up for it with technique? Again a miss, to this day he is not famous for it.

The captain of the Polish national team knew that if he wanted to play football professionally in the future, he had to work hard for his success.

In my opinion, he was somewhere third, maybe fourth choice in terms of potential and talent. There were more capable players, but they failed to make it in adult soccer. Tomek always pursued his goals, stood out for his diligence,” explained Dynamo Kyiv footballer’s dad, Miroslaw Kedziora, in Football Parent.

Go back in your memories to the times of your childhood. Was it by any chance that the best were those who came to training first, and still stayed afterwards to practice free kicks or penalties?

When he moved to Lechia Gdańsk, I checked for myself what his attendance at classes was, because I recorded the players’ attendance at training, and Karol had it at about 97%, meaning he showed up practically always. Karol’s greatest asset is his diligence. The boy has always trained hard. His father specially put a goal in front of his house and Karol practiced strikes even after classes at the club,” recalled Andrzej Glowacki, the first trainer of Karol Fili, who today is a player of French Strasbourg.

No professional soccer player, and we have happened to talk to dozens, has ever told us directly that he was forced to practice soccer. That’s not how it works, if a child doesn’t enjoy soccer, he won’t be a good footballer. Of course, there may be isolated exceptions, but would you – as parents – want your child to be unhappy in life, just to fulfill your ambitions?

You need to have enthusiasm, desire. Now children have it a little easier, but in my opinion, at the same time – harder. There are better pitches, better shoes and equipment, but there are also more temptations. It is often the case that it is the parent who wants more than the child. In our case it wasn’t like that, he didn’t need to be directed to the ball, because it was with him from an early age. He wasn’t interested in anything else. I wanted him to play soccer, but I never put pressure on him,” Piotr Bogusz, the father of the country’s youth representative, told the Weszło Junior portal.

An important factor that many people underestimate is… parental involvement. It’s not about an oversensitive mom writing to the coach to see if he won’t reschedule classes because it’s starting to rain, but about such a simple interest, asking how it was at the game, and as time allows – showing up in person.

His mother – Mrs. Jola – traveled with us to all the meetings. She was always somewhere next to him at training sessions. She was the first to know that Kuba could someday play somewhere high. She was convinced of it,” said Adam Skorzec, Jakub Kaminski’s trainer at Szombierki Bytom.

It seems to me that it was his dad who had the biggest influence on him, and he still does today. He always comforts him in difficult moments. He is probably his most faithful supporter. His mom (Polish teacher – ed.) also often shows up at matches. The family is his biggest support. From a young age he was drawn to soccer. Tymek was a very ambitious and fierce boy. In addition to having such leadership qualities (he was also team captain), he pulled the game, mobilized others – for him, defeat was something terrible. He experienced it very much. He devoted every free moment to football. He was characterized by modesty and humility, but from the very beginning you could see such stubbornness and obstinacy in him. He wanted to be a soccer player, he always set himself goals that he had to do more, stay after class, train some more. Naturally, everything was also backed by talent. He knew that with hard work he could achieve success,” says Mieczyslaw Mierzwa, Tymoteusz Puchacz’s first coach.

Have we given a flawless recipe for success above? Of course not – you can meet all the conditions, but in soccer, as in life, you also need a little luck. Nevertheless, ambition, diligence and parental support can take a young soccer adept really far.


A team of sports enthusiasts, especially football. The texts are basically written by the whole team, sometimes also with the cooperation of external editors associated with the football community.