This week we feature Stefan Mauk in our match day programme, ADLUNITE. To read the full piece, make sure you get a copy at #ADLvMCY!
Stefan’s Peace of Mind
You can’t let emotions take control of your thoughts. If they’re given the time and freedom to flood your body and make their way through to your mind, they’ll cripple you.
You’ll freeze and go tense and any form of logic will seemingly disappear from existence. You’ll feel alone and your perception of time will be lost completely to the point where a mere few seconds can feel like an eternity.
It’s not easy to avoid, though, and everyone reacts to these situations differently so finding a way to deal with your emotions is a personal battle. But as you grow and mature, you often find ways of handling these circumstances and you’re able to dilute the concoction of emotions that are clouding your thoughts. After a while it’s no issue and you can see through the mist, making sense of the world again.
But put yourself in the boots of a 20-year-old professional footballer, whose mind is still developing and who’s certainly still figuring out how to deal with waves of confusing feelings. He or she will be amongst the thick of it more often than not and this process of understanding is rapidly fast-forward because of how essential it is to their craft.
Only some are able to cope with the pressure and are able to grasp the developed mind-set that’s needed to stay amongst the sport’s best – to eventually be the best.
“I’ve just always wanted to be the best player I can be, pushing myself to reach the highest levels possible, and seeing where I end up.
“I’m still young, but when I do end up looking back on my career, I want to be able to say that I achieved everything possible, not a player that people remember as someone who just had potential.
“Potential is a good word when you’re young, but I want to be remembered for having an excellent career and for myself, I think that starts with doing as well as I can right here with Adelaide.”
Words don’t get much wiser. It’s the type of off-the-cuff statement that makes you actually believe that you’re not just hearing a rehearsed PR script, it is legitimate. Then you realise that you’re in the midst of a man who can not only realise his potential, but exceed well beyond it.
And that’s Stefan Mauk, the 20-year-old professional footballer who has conquered his battle of emotions.
Slight nervousness prior to kick-off is as close as he gets to being emotionally overwhelmed, for the 90 minutes following the referee’s ear-piercing whistle he’s at peace, doing what he was seemingly made to do.
The full version of this feature is available exclusively in the ADLUNITE match day programme available at the game between Adelaide United and Melbourne City.
Adelaide United will face Melbourne City in Round 23 of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season on Friday, 11 March at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.10pm ACDT.