Today we had a meeting with staff from the first team, to begin planning the pre-season which will start in exactly 20 days. It was a very productive meeting, and for me personally it was great to finally see first-hand how a professional coach and a professional organisation functions. I am very excited for the start of pre-season.
I also got to meet a very unique person today. His name is Robert Carmona, and he is the Guiness World Record holder as the oldest professional soccer player in the world. He has played professional soccer in many different countries and even in different continents, including in the United States, Europe and of course South America.
He is also 55 years old.
At an age when most people are nearing retirement from their sedentary jobs, Robert Carmona is still employed in one of the jobs that requires the highest amount of physical activity in the world. A job from which even the fittest players typically retire around the age of 35 (my current age – and 20 years younger than his current age).
He lives the life of a professional soccer player too – including no drinking or smoking, no sugary foods or soda of any kind, and a daily exercise routine that would probably be a challenge for athletes half his age.
We discussed some aspects of his training and diet, and I gave him some suggestions – not that he necessarily needed any. He also showed me some of the initiatives he has undertaken in Uruguay, including charitable programs for children’s soccer, as well as motivational programs to help adults improve their health and wellness through exercise (and through soccer).
Meeting Robert Carmona was a revelation for me. So often as coaches we talk about how we want the athletes we work with, even if they are not successful at the professional or international levels, to remain involved in the sport for the rest of their lives. Robert is someone who has been involved and remained involved in soccer for his entire life, and his involvement has remained at the highest level possible. Best of all, in spite of all of his success, he is one of the most humble, down-to-earth people I have ever met.
If you’re interested in learning more about Robert Carmona and his Guiness Records, you can visit his Facebook page via the following link:
Weather permitting, we will begin fitness testing with the Academy teams tomorrow afternoon. Fingers crossed!