5 Secrets of Robert Lewandowski’s Success, Must Be Emulated by Young Players

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NBCNEWS – Ahead of the announcement of this season’s Ballon d’Or, Lewandowski has proven himself to be a strong candidate for the title. He scored a spectacular opener for Bayern in Ukraine in snowy weather.

Lewandowski’s spectacular goal was created through an overhead kick with a loose shoelace that made the audience gasp. A goal that brought Bayern Munich a narrow 2-1 win over Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League group stage.

The Bayern striker is now the top scorer in the Champions League. Lewandowski seems to be able to score goals at will and set new records every week. On that note, of course, many are curious about the secret of his success in the field.

For that, NBCNEWS reveals 5 secrets of Lewandowski’s success.

1) Maintain Fitness

The Polish national team sticker was nicknamed “The Body” during his time at Borussia Dortmund, due to his churning stomach and sculpted physique. Lewandowski’s dedication to bringing out the best in himself is well known now.

“You can’t imagine how small and thin he was as a child,” recalls Kamil Baczek, Lewandowski’s former youth team-mate in Poland.

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“He was very different from who he is now. At that time you were almost worried that something would happen to him,” added Kamil.

And, something did happen – he grew (sispeck). Lewandowski has a gym in his private home, where he regularly works out even on holidays. He is assisted by his wife Anna, a world karate champion who is a nutrition and fitness expert. The wife always offers support and guidance, even on the smallest details.

Lewandowski doesn’t just work on the physical side of his game; he is well aware that mentality is just as important. “Sometimes I work with special training to focus only on my concentration,” said Lewandowski when interviewed by the newspaper Die Welt. “That’s something very important for a striker.”

That seems to have paid off now, with 19% of all his goals at Bayern (60 of 318) coming after the 76th minute of the game.

2) You are What You Eat

In addition to his rigorous training, Lewandowski pays great attention to food pattern and quality. The dietary changes he implemented more than a decade ago, and now he is feeling the results.

“When I was 22, I changed what I ate so I could play for a few more years,” said the striker after receiving the 2020/2021 European Golden Boot award. “At the time I wasn’t sure if it would help me or not, but I kept at it, and it paid off. Everything I did back then brought me success today,” he added.

So, what does that mean concretely? “We don’t eat lactose, wheat flour, white sugar, or fried foods,” explains Anna. “We eat our desserts first, or carbs first and then protein. Sometimes we only eat raw food and sometimes only a little meat,” concluded Anna.

It definitely worked: Lewandowski has scored 111 of his 291 Bundesliga goals since he was 30. Only Manfred Burgsmueller (117) has scored more times as a player in his thirties in the Bundesliga, a record that looks set to collapse soon.

3) Get Enough Sleep

After all the exercise and eating, anyone will need a good nap, and Lewandowski is no different. He, as you might expect, has taken sleep to another level by recruiting an expert in his field (aren’t we all?) to optimize his rest.

Apart from enjoying a high quality mattress, Lewandowski’s bedroom can be completely covered in sunlight, permanently cooled to a maximum of 21 degrees Celsius (even in summer), no television and other electronic devices must be turned off.

Even his sleeping position doesn’t go unnoticed: “I should sleep on my left side because I’m left-handed and have a stronger hit with my right foot,” he says, following a friend’s advice.

4) Practice Makes Perfect

A generally accepted saying in football is that ‘you can’t train for penalties’. Lewandowski, however, clearly disagrees with that point of view. His penalty-taking technique is just a further example of the fact that he doesn’t waste any chances.

He is constantly refining and honing his run-up and shooting to become one of the best penalty kick masters in Bundesliga history.

Of the 41 that Lewandowski has made in Germany’s top flight, 37 have scored, giving him the best penalty conversion ratio (90.2 per cent) in league history. In fact, only four players have scored more from the penalty spot, the all-time leader being Manfred Kaltz with 53 (out of 60 taken).

The number 9 added a direct free kick, which has intimidated opponents in recent years.

His signature ‘hop’ run-up before shooting is the result of hours on the training field, all aiming for constant improvement. “It doesn’t matter what you have won, but what you can still win,” he said of his insatiable desire to succeed.

5) Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

There is also a good dose of brain power to supplement the sizable muscles. In 2018, Lewandowski completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Warsaw for Sports Training and Management. The title of the thesis? “RL9: Road to fame”.

“It tells the story of his football career, from a young boy playing on the streets to becoming a big star in international football,” his supervisor, Marek Rybinski, told AFP news agency.

Unlike many professional footballers, Lewandowski is not a fan of video games and prefers to read autobiographies of sports giants. “Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt – they are all superstars who have shaped their sport,” said Lewandowski. “I wanted to see if I could learn something from them.” he added.

No doubt future generations will add the goal bomber’s biography to their reading. For many of today’s young players, it is very appropriate and worthy to have Lewandowski as an example.

(atmaja wijaya/yul)

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