Max Sakae Ogawa

How to Bring Your Best Game

How to Bring Your Best Game

#1 Way to Get Your Coach’s Attention

How to bring your best game in football is a topic I’ve been blogging about for the past two months.

A week ago, I explained the events on the day of my debut in the U19 squad of Getafe CF. It was a memorable day to say the least. However, I have only just scraped the surface and I am extremely eager to progress. I want to continue this journey, experiencing and feeling both the highs and lows.

One thing I didn’t touch on when I published the post was two events which made that day even better. And if I’m being honest, I have loved being in the spotlight this week. But as always my goal is to push myself harder each day and become a better version of myself. But I’m going to take a moment to enjoy the events of this week and share it with you.

The aftermath of the game

Anyways, the first event was on Tuesday, following the game. Normally we practice on a Monday. But as we didn’t have a game on the weekend, the coach decided to train only for 3 days to give players time to recover. Which made a quiet start to the week.

On Tuesday, the day was a typical day after having a game. We had a talk before training to discuss the game and to hear from the coach as to how he saw the game. We had spoken for a couple of minutes when suddenly he mentioned my name. I was extremely surprised because it is a lofty ambition to have public recognition in this (or any) team. And this coach has not encouraged such ambitions. If you want to know how to bring your best game then you will not always get that insight from your coach. I’ve discovered the coaches are not always lavish with their feedback. And even less forthcoming with their praise.

Let your hard work be on display

The coach spoke about me and my values for a couple of minutes. It was phenomenal to see my hard work and persistence paying off. I couldn’t have asked for a better mention. And to get an acknowledgment from the coaches that they see the hard work and sacrifice I put in each day just to be here.

I don’t care that Max is Australian or that he has come from Australia, but a player like Max, I want in my team. When he wasn’t selected or didn’t play, he never complained, he came the next week and worked harder than a lot of you.

Getafe CF U19 Coach

Wait, what?

Of course, all of this was in Spanish, nevertheless, my hard work there has paid off too. He also said that he was very happy for me when I scored. And that I should be an example to everyone.

Lavish praise indeed. Let me take a moment to enjoy it.

Bring your best game

It was my strategy to get noticed for my hard work and to set an example to the rest of the team. Using my aspiration as their inspiration. This was better than the goal itself. And all the nice words were a great encouragement. After that team talk, my confidence was soaring. Not to the level where I am egotistical and disrespectful as those are qualities I don’t wish to cultivate. I have had coaches who mistake my confidence for arrogance. And they have punished me harshly as a result to ‘teach me a lesson’. But it was a much needed boost.

Let’s cast our minds back to just a few weeks ago, when he wouldn’t answer my question about how to improve. That suddenly feels a long time ago when here he is telling everyone in the team. About how I bring my best game to training every week no less.

But wait, there’s more

Just when you think things can’t get any better. The second event was as exciting as the first. However, I don’t think two big shout outs can be in just one post alone, it ruins the fun. Stay tuned to find out about what comes next.

For now an action shot will suffice for the upcoming days. Now we head into the final game of the season against Union Adarve U19. The game which determines where we end up on the Group 5 ladder.

Bringing my best game against Rayo Vallecano U19. Photo courtesy of @ksphotoss.

How to bring your best game on and off the field

I hope you’re enjoying hearing about my adventures in La Liga. Drop me a line below to share your football journey. Or if you have tips on how to bring your best game on and off the field.

Max Sakae Ogawa
Max Sakae Ogawa

Random fact #1
Sakae means brilliant. Flourish, prosperity, honor and glory. Take your pick.
Random fact #2
My site icon is the Japanese character for “Sakae”.


  1. Confidence and pride in your achievements is well deserved. Keep playing your best game Max, you have the love and support of your family always.

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Based in the phenomenal city of Madrid and striving to bring an excellent blogging expereince.

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