For the majority of athletes carrying out a pre-match ritual is a necessity before any sporting event. Whether it’s a reassuring chat with a family member, wearing your lucky boxers or sleeping in your opponent’s socks the night before the big game; preparation- no matter how outlandish- is key and England’s Harry Kane is no exception, as he explains:
“I constantly imagine different scenarios. Most of the time it doesn’t happen exactly as I anticipate, but I visualise to make sure I am prepared. When a chance comes along, you have to snap it up.”
And he certainly has. In only two years, Kane has gone from reserve to international star and following a season in which he scored 32 times, he undoubtedly deserves it.
However, his career has not always been smooth sailing as he was dropped by his first football club at the young age of nine. He then was left on the bench for years after signing for his second club and then being loaned to four different teams before finally scoring a place in North London just prior to the 2013-2014 season.
Despite his impressive perseverance and goal streak, Kane was greeted by a rather cold reception before his senior England debut in 2015. However, he quickly dismissed the doubts placed upon him and proved the sceptics wrong when he scored only 79 seconds after being putting on during the 70 minute of his first match with Lithuania.
Kane credits the majority of his success to his confidence and self-belief, a mind-set he is taking with him throughout the tournament in France, as he explains:
“Self-belief is a big thing. If you don’t believe in yourself then not many other people are going to believe in you. There is no fear because this is the first tournament for a lot of us. We are not putting too much expectation on ourselves. There are loads of moments in my head that I still want to create. For starters, I want to win trophies, I’m yet to get a big one and I aspire to do that. Individual awards are nice but I think to lift a cup as a team is the most important thing.”
There’s no doubt that Kane has worked hard to get where he is and continues to prove he deserves to be there.
With thanks to Nike Football Apparel for the interview- head over to nike.com to check out the full England collection.