Barcelona FC and the Visualisation of Success

frogs-1212209_640In The Wedding Speech Manual, I speak of visualisation as a great technique to help calm your nerves and get you in the mindset to do the best job you can.

You may have been aware of a little football match which happened this weekend – the Champions League final between Barcelona and Man United. One article, in the Sunday Times, gave a great example of exactly what I mean by visualisation:

The former Barcelona goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta likes to reminisce about his club’s previous visit to Wembley. He remembers how, before the first of Barça’s two triumphs in the European Cup in London, some of his teammates had visualised so strongly the moment of triumph that they even wondered how many stairs there might be between the pitch and the passageway where the medals were handed to winners.

As Zubizarreta recalls, Barça’s so-called Dream Team (whose label was surely seized last night) were loosening up the day before the 1992 final when he heard his most gregarious colleague, the striker Julio Salinas, chatting to the most studious, the midfielder Pep Guardiola. “They were arguing about how many steps there were up to the trophy gantry, 31? Or 32? Or maybe 33?” remembered Zubizarreta. “I walked past and said to them, ‘Why don’t we just go and win the cup and then we’ll find out more quickly’.”

(“Pep Talk All The Rage” – Ian Hawkey; Sunday Times 29/5/11)

How is this relevant to your wedding speech? There are two lessons to be taken from this.

Make your visualisation as vivid and real as possible. Imagine every aspect of the day, and how great it is going to go. Picture the room, where you’ll be standing, how you’ll be standing. Imagine the laughing, smiling, supportive faces of your audience and their reactions to your successful speech.

Don’t forget you still need to “win”! Visualisation is great, but you also need to make sure that you still do the spadework to give yourself a chance to deliver the best speech you can. This means putting in as much preparation and practise time as possible. You can have the best imagination in the world, but this on its own won’t be enough to produce that great wedding speech.

Oh, and for the record, the winners needed to climb 39 steps to reach the Royal Box and collect their trophy at the old Wembley Stadium…




Peter D Oxley
Pete Oxley is a freelance writer and business manager who lives in the English Home Counties. He enjoys reading and writing in a wide range of areas but his main passions are sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction and Steampunk. Influences include HG Wells, Charles Dickens, Neil Gaiman, KW Jeter, Scott Lynch, Clive Barker and Joss Whedon. Author of the non-fiction book "The Wedding Speech Manual" and the historical fantasy series "The Infernal Aether". He lives with his wife, two young sons and a slowly growing guitar collection. Probably a masochist: aside from writing and willingly speaking in front of large crowds of strangers, Pete spends his spare time playing music badly and supporting football teams that play badly.

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