Servus, hi! In you go! The changing room chats are part of a project, which forms the key focus of my work this year, dealing with the topic of mental health.
Not just to hear it in a lecture, but to bring it to life.
The idea was to get players from the first team in for an open discussion in the changing room, where they are role models.
The openness of the players should be an example for the youngsters to learn from and realise that hey, it’s okay to talk about all kinds of different situations and to learn from the first team players.
We chatted and had some really intense discussions.
The lads had some really good questions.
We definitely went into detail.
Of course, they wanted to hear about my journey and my experiences in the game.
I knew that they would ask that, so I spent some time thinking about what advice I want to give them.
I hope that they will take the things I told them and process them their own way so that some can benefit, even by just taking one or two things on board and not stressing too much.
Or perhaps it will strengthen the ambition and determination of others.
I just hope the lads enjoyed themselves, but it seemed like they did.
See you, lads! Thomas Müller has achieved everything in his career.
He grew up at Bayern, he is a role model for the kids and for us here at the campus.
We need to try and get these players pushing into the first team just like Thomas Müller.
You can only learn from a player like him, you can watch him and really take a lot from it, which is why the youngsters will be listening keenly to what he says.
It’s a wonderful story.
There it is! That was a great goal! Müller pushes forward with all that’s left in him.
Giving everything to break forward.
Schmelzer chases down! Müller! He’s passed Weidenfeller! Müller!! Bayern München have won the cup! Thank you.
Thank you! It was definitely a cool experience telling the lads about my journey in football.
It was also cool to see that things are still the same as they were, with schools.
I used to think it was crazy how long the days were.
And it was also interesting to see how mature the boys were, and it was a good experience for me to be able to give the young players something back, as others did for me.
It’s nice to give something.
They asked if I used to party when I was their age, which was a bit tricky to answer.
But otherwise, I think I did I great job! I could also sense that even in their group there is a certain pressure.
They play for the biggest club in Germany, after all.
I think even at youth level you go into games knowing you have to win.
Naturally, that brings a lot of pressure to perform and I think it’s great that this issue is being addressed with the boys and they are being prepared how to deal with it.
In your day-to-day life as a professional, how often are you faced with psychological issues? I think often after games, because at a professional level you are always being judged.
Otherwise, you have whatever family issues that get discussed now and then with family, but there are always points where you need to step back and use whatever methods to reset.
The trick for those who perform at the top level in sport, or those in the public eye, is to still perform even on days when they are not at their best.
A good example of that is before a World Cup when we met Hermann Maier.
I don’t know the exact numbers, I think he had 52 victories or something in his career, but he told us that only before two of them did he really feel great.
And that’s what it’s all about, still giving your best performance even though you won’t always feel like you’re on top of the world.
I think there was one message that came out very strongly from all three, which was that they are more than just footballers.
For Serge, especially, it came across how important it is for him to be, above all, a good person; respectful, honest and willing to help.
And just how important all that is.
With Thomas and Leon, it was impressive how well they did at school alongside football, as well as how down-to-earth and humble they are, which was so clear from their answers.
I believe that will have a long-lasting impact on many of our players.
In your head and mentality that makes the difference to you reaching the top or not.
Because they can all play football, but whether one of them makes it all the way to the top or not is all in the mind.
And if the player really wants it, if he has the perseverance, the resilience, and the determination to bite through the pain and work his way to the top.
The ones who have it tough at youth level, who have a difficult path, they are the ones who have a bigger, much bigger, chance of making it.
And that’s all down to the mental strength.