Why training on your own and German lessons are practically the same thing

In high school I had a teacher, mister Gommans. In spite of getting in many, many arguments with ‘Herr Gommans’, as he liked to be called (not in the last place because I only chose German because I hated French even more), even back then I knew that as a teacher, he was lightyears ahead of his time. For instance, when you wanted to go to the toilet during his class, you had to leave your cellphone behind in the classroom. Result: only in extreme emergencies did anyone ask to use the bathroom during our German lessons. Because why go through the trouble of walking all the way to the other side of the school, if you can’t even text your friends from there?

Something else Mr. Gommans taught me and that’ll probably stay with me for the rest of my life is the so-called ‘2 minutes-effect’. Classes at my high school were 50 minutes, which usually meant that as a student, you started carefully packing up your stuff around minute 43. But not in German class. As Mr. Gommans explained: ‘You have German class twice a week, roughly 40 weeks every year. This means that if you pack away your stuff only two minutes early, you miss over two hours of German unterricht every single year!’ So Mr. Gommans taught us German. From minute 1 until minute 50. And not one second shorter.

All by myself…

If you want to reach the top in sports, you need to train by yourself, a YouTube-video once taught me. And even though I can enjoy every single minute I spend with a ball at my feet, sometimes it can get a bit boring. There are many things that simply require teammates to train with you, and on top of that: on the rare occasion that the ball leaves your feet phenomenally and ends up in the upper corner, you’re the only one that sees it.

But training by yourself can also be great. You get to work on stuff that doesn’t get dealt with in team practices, or things you’re not confident enough about to try there. There’s no pressure, no one’s looking over your shoulder, and you can spend time on the elements of soccer that you most enjoy.

Since recently, I wear a heart rate monitor when I train by myself. Not just to see how intense the training was, but also because the accompanying watch has a stopwatch feature. This way, I get to precisely time my training, so I can later write down in my logbook what I did, and, not unimportant, for how long. Because when I go outside to train for an hour, I train for (at least) 60 minutes. And not 58. Thanks to Mr. Gommans’ theory. Can you imagine how many hours of training I would’ve missed, if I hadn’t taken that German class? So thanks, Mr. Gommans. I learned a lot from you. Although I have to be honest, I wouldn’t be able to recite the German cases if my life depended on it.

Thanks for reading, have a nice New Year’s Eve, and talk soon! 🙂