According to Canadian men’s national soccer team coach John Herdman, besides the “electric” inspiration passed on by the 48,806 fans in attendance during their Friday’s match with Costa Rica, he also attributed the team’s recent victory to a quick chat with Phil Jackson.
Herdman shared that the iconic NBA coach called him up a day before they went up against the South American team. “I had a good chat with the Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson yesterday,” the 46-year old English football manager and Canada men’s national soccer team related.
Moreover, he also pointed out that he “shared some of his thoughts with the team before we went on the field tonight.” While Herdman did not further elaborate what he and the NBA Hall of Famer talked about, defender Sam Adekugbe filled in a few details on their conversation.
Adekugbe, who Herdman called the “man of the match” during their game with Costa Rica, revealed that the 6-time NBA champion coach emphasized the importance of “fundamentals” and “being consistent” on and off the field.
“The best teams do the fundamentals consistently,” Adekugbe disclosed. “He also talked about how your last time (or game) doesn’t matter.” The defender also added that “focusing on the next game” is crucial for winning.
While Jackson’s advice seemed somewhat simplistic, it helped boost Team Canada to get one step closer to FIFA World Cup. The Canadian men’s national soccer team is currently in third place in the overall rankings with 13 points, just a point shy behind the United States and Mexico.
Adekugbe further explained that they are already applying the Zen Master’s advice on their upcoming match against Mexico. “This time, we move on and focus on the next match,” he stressed. “We know we have a tough game coming on Tuesday against Mexico.”