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John Souttar – Our 1st client

"Work with me and you’ll get yourself those Scotland caps your after."

The biggest compliment I can give John is I know he prepared the same way for Arbroath in preseason as he did for Belgium..

What a night watching John Souttar make his Scotland debut.

We’ve worked together now for around 14 months.

I remember he was the first person to reply to one of my DM’s on Instagram. The worst thing he’s ever done! ha

After it went quiet first time I went back again and got a meeting.

Starbucks, Dreghorn, 14th July 2017.

The conversation can be summed up:

“Don’t trust me, trust my work and that will build the trust between us. There is no one better or more dedicated to what they do. Work with me and you’ll get yourself those Scotland caps your after.”

I basically backed him into a corner where he had no other option but to give me a chance. The same as what he has done to earn his 1st senior caps.

I’m a pest when I get going, turns out so is he!

Without a doubt, I believe John would have got those Scotland caps but working on his inner game just makes sure he gives himself the best chance of not only playing for his country but helping them become successful. Moreover being calm and confident in the process of doing so.

Being good and winning caps aren’t enough for him. Being great and winning games is the ultimate aim.

The first session we did was in the pub on a Friday afternoon. The Laird and Dog.

There has always been a brutal honesty to the way we work in both directions.

We got off to an absolute flyer, but I’ll leave that for his autobiography.

A year ago this week I posted a picture of Noel Gallagher on my Facebook with the words:

“It’s happening, even if no one else realises, its happening.”

That picture was in reference to John. The 1st pro I worked with.

I’d been battering at doors for months and months for the chance. John gave me it.

Football Mindset flew under the radar for months. I never spoke about clients.

I’m a believer in judging people by their actions as opposed to their mouth and its only fair that’s how I should be judged and so should he.

In the 1st few months in working with him I used to walk around Hampden with my nephew saying we’ll get clients playing in that place, we’ll get clients representing Scotland in there.

John was the only client we had at that time, there was no pressure on him from me. ha!

Chris Cadden, Greg Docherty and Scott Wright all played in the Scottish Cup last year at Hampden.

But it was probably fitting for FM to have John as the 1st internationalist to play at Hampden.

Chris having made his debut in South America in the Summer.

I hadn’t been to a Scotland game for a few years but in June I bought a membership to the supporters club, I knew after Chris Cadden’s caps there would be more.

Even after missing out on the Summer squad due to injury, John kept going. They’re the sessions you remember, the proper low ones.

“It is what it is. Trust the process but more importantly continue to trust yourself.”

I never knew what playing for your country meant until I seen John and Cadds reaction to their senior call-ups.

People may see working on your inner game as a bit of a weakness, there’s still a stigma around it.

How fucking daft is that stigma?

Its holding thousands of players back, it really is.

There are far too many players battling for confidence and wrestling with self-doubt in their careers. Endless talent that sadly never comes to the fore due to others opinions and a lack of understanding of how the brain works.

The biggest compliment I can give John is I know he prepared the same way for Arbroath in preseason as he did for playing Belgium.

He followed the same system that he created for himself.

What’s changed this past year for us both? Probably not a great deal except my hairline. I’m still a relentless pest and he’s still preparing to play in the same way.

The only difference being we’ve gone from being two people who said what they were going to do, to two people who have now done what they said they were going to do.

Everything you see of Football Mindset has come as a result of a few lads giving me a chance, but without John Souttar and his commitment to the work, I’d probably still be sending Instagram messages hoping for a response from someone.

Check your inbox.

JJ

PS

As a business and as a human being you never forget who was there in the early days and sticking by you, staying true to their handshake and their word when others were not.

I'm a believer in judging people by their actions as opposed to their mouths and its only fair that's how I should be judged.

By John Johnstone 11th September 2018

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