Elite Grinder – Peter Crouch Rose To The Top

Published by Susan Zaro on

The Amazon documentary of Footballer Peter Crouch is an inspiring Sport Psychology study. The audience is given a peek into the adversity that he survived to achieve his childhood dream and elite place in English Football. Point being at times inspirational role models aren’t the super elite in a sport but the grinder with talent and love of the game.

At the beginning of the film time Crouch recalls his father as a harsh critic of his athletic skills during his formative years. He says, “My dad was a massive influence. He used to take me to games. He was quite hard on me. There’s nothing worse than getting back in the car and then being asked, ‘How do you think you played?’ Then he’d go into why I played so badly.”

In an interview his father says, “You have to be very, very tough to play professional football at any level. He wasn’t naturally that. There are some naturally aggressive boys and he wasn’t one of them.” There are remnants of childhood pain from his father’s harsh expectations of his physical/mental game. Parents frequently take the only lane forward they know with the skill sets and resources they have even when the behavior can be observed from the outside as punishing vs. encouraging of a young athlete’s development.

Doing light research it is easy to find successful athlete’s that were raised by demanding parents. It can be forever argued about the “right method” for guiding an athlete in becoming resilient to the rigors of training and developing mental fortitude An athlete that survives those early years may go on to have careers that reflect their goals in the professional world. In this case it did for Peter Crouch. An athlete’s process of coming into his/her own where they begin to set their own course happens with age and opportunity. Crouch had the good fortune of having three coaches who saw his talent, believed in him and stood by him as he matured into the player he became.

As young Crouch begins his professional football career he encounters brutal verbal abuse and pure meanness from media and fans. His body isn’t the typical footballer physic he is unusually tall and thin. The fans very loudly make fun of him at games. Which brings up the question of an athlete’s exposure and mental health. In time through persistence, his talent and support from coaches that believe in him, his childhood aspirations of being an elite footballer take shape and he hits his stride.

Movie Takeaways

*It was his dream to become a Premier footballer.
*He had talent. Over time through enough opportunities he gained the skills and confidence to play at the level he needed to stay in the top leagues.
*He had coaches that gave him the support he needed.
*He has a good sense of humor.
*He had good/fun relationships with team-mates.
*As he began to succeed the fans did an about face and came to celebrate him.
*He’s made a successful transition from footballer to t.v. personality

Watch it and see what you takeaway.