PLAY YOUR OWN GAME
If you’re playing in a trial be brave. You can’t go onto the pitch trying to play like anyone else. You have to play your own game and do what you know you’re good at. If you’re good at dribbling then take players on, if you are good at finishing then get your shots away. Playing to your strengths is the most important thing. Don’t try and do anything different from what’s got you there in the first place. Express yourself and take your chance.
PREPARE FOR THE PRESSURE
Playing in the reserves or the academy is different to the pro game. For starters, there’s a bigger crowd with greater expectations. There are a lot of eyes watching you and you’re playing for something – points or trophies – so it matters more. This added pressure is part of being a footballer. If you’re making your debut at the top level try to take it in your stride and enjoy the experience.
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You’ve got to believe in yourself. Know what you can and can’t do and what you’re comfortable with. You’ve got to work harder than most because it’s so hard to come through the ranks in the modern game. You also need to be patient, especially if you’re a young player coming through the system. You’re not going to get put in the spotlight straight away so you have to bide your time and train hard. Always be prepared because you never know when you’re going to be given a chance to impress. When you get that opportunity, you need to take it. That’s what I did and when my chance came around for Tottenham in the Premier League. I was there and ready to take it.
KEEP A LEVEL HEAD
You have to be mentally strong to be a pro because football isn’t one big high – it’s a mix of highs and lows. Personally, I try and stay level-headed. If I score a hat-trick – great – and if I miss a couple of chances and we lose – that’s bad. I try and keep my feelings in the middle by working hard and always trying to improve. I’m still young so I never try to get too high or too low.
Harry Kane was a NikeTown London to give Nike Football App members insights into how to become a deadly striker. Harry Kane wears the Flash Dri-FIT Cool shirt, Strike shorts and Nike Hypervenom II, available now from nike.com
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