Letting go of stuttering: In football terms

Being a Man United fan brings parallels to working on your speech and living with a stutter. The anxiety, doubt, lack of confidence, disappointment, frustration, anger and so much more relate to both of these things. (My friend Adam Wright could probably say the same being an Aston Villa fan).

The concept of 'letting go' throughout the stuttering community is generally discussed greatly and causes a lot of confusion. So I'm attempting to put it into simple terms through the use of a very diverse Manchester United Squad.

Letting Go is simply not having to concentrate and feeling the right feelings & doing the right things in the moment, without or with little thought. Like a natural instinct, in a speaking situation you 'let go' by trusting yourself and what you have been working on/dedicated to and the moment just happens. This comes from years of non-stop 100% work, you don't wake up one morning and just 'let go' otherwise everyone would do it. I'm still early on in my speech journey so don't really think about letting go. My good friend Ayo Adesanya is the man for more info about this as Ayo speaks very openly about his journey. For football, it's like taking a penalty as a professional. In the moment you take the penalty you let go. Simply embrace the moment and put principles naturally into practice. Again, this comes from all the relentless work to get to this point, like stick me on a penalty in any situation, (final, league, 1st round, whatever), and I'd be bricking it as I can't simply let go. Why? Because I haven't worked my arse off training & prepping for this moment.

Lets talk Man United .

Players like Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba can let go when they play. Looking natural and effortless. This is down to their graft, training and experience. They have tried, failed and tried again enough times to reach this point where they can simply let go. Admittedly this doesn't always happen but you get my drift. When you look at Rashford, Martial, McTominay, and Wan Bissaka, they're all well on their way to letting go, but there's still work to do before they can 100% let it happen. Now there's no map, time, or age when this happens it just comes by you putting the work in. Brandon Williams is very early on in career (or speech journey), so is still giving 110% graft and effort to be the best he can. Williams is fully aware it's a marathon not a sprint but has enough self-awareness to know this, and not to run before he can walk. It's the same in speech, don't over-do it too soon or you'll be, basically a bit f*cked. Pace yourself and concentrate on your own journey.

Now's the fun part...

Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw. Luke Shaw thinks he can let go, thinks he can do everything he can and is confident in this. The fact the phrase "where's our Left Back gone? oh other end of the pitch" is used too often makes me beg to differ. You need to train and lay a foundation. Just look at Shaw's basics in passing, positioning, and movement. That will tell you how he still needs to concentrate. If this was a speech journey, Shaw would be trying to be on Live at the Apollo but still have a negative stuttering mindset. This is why you need to spend so much time laying the groundwork's first. Let's move onto Jesse Lingard. Trying to write this politely so my Nan can still read it is a challenge. Imagine a troublesome individual in the stuttering community who latches onto others success (like a leach) and has 1 or 2 successful moments so instantly believe they are a legend of stuttering. That's Lingard. He is by far nowhere near ready to even experiment with letting go or trying new techniques. You need to be willing to better yourself and work hard, not release a clothing brand in the middle of a fundamental part of the season. The work ethic relates to everything, as there's no quick fixes. No quick fixes is a harsh reality, but if you put the effort into yourself rather than looking for an easy way out, that is Progress with a capital P. Instead of moaning about stuttering or criticizing different courses, get off your arse and do something. Just like instead of doing stupid piped-piper dances and trying to get more Instagram famous, train harder and you will get better. Simple as that.

In summary, don't get caught up in the concept of 'Letting Go,' if you want it and are willing to work for it it will happen. Stay true to yourself and your own journey. This is relevant to anything in life not just working on your speech or football. The only thing we can all do is be the best version of ourselves we can. Don't try and be like anyone else because that won't get you very far. You do you. I hope this has made sense and maybe shed a bit of light on what letting go is actually is.

So, my final words are put in what you want to get out... and that Jesse Lingard is a waste of space.

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