It’s hard not to be inspired by Australia’s most successful soccer star Tim Cahill. Sure, there are the obvious achievements like playing in three World Cups or just recently being named best Major League Soccer player by ESPN now that he’s playing for the New York Red Bulls. However, what’s most inspiring is Tim’s incredibly grounded perspective on life and his success.
If you missed the first half of our interview with Tim yesterday, in which we chatted to Tim about his forthcoming menswear range Shoreditch by Tim Cahill make sure you check it out here. Then read on to find out about Tim’s training secrets and how meditation changed his life.
Aside from the football specific training you do with the New York Red Bulls what other exercise do you do? Do you do any yoga or Pilates?
My last two years at Everton I did a lot of yoga and Pilates. Now it is a lot of Pilates reformer. I have my own gym at my house so I do a lot of core work. With Pilates it is more for the stretching and switching on your core. It’s good to educate yourself and read up about how it can improve your flexibility and activate your muscles.
We train every day for about an hour or two at the training ground. For me everything I do is about body maintenance. I don’t want to overload my legs too much, being 34-years-old and wanting to play good games at the back end of my career. I do light weight sessions; I don’t do anything over body weight. Nothing too strenuous that is going to encourage injuries and I spend a lot of time in the treatment room doing pre-hab and re-hab.
How do you start your day?
What I always say to kids, when I work with them through my Academy, is that you have to fuel your body. When you wake up in the morning it’s important to eat right. Berries and yoghurt and slow release carbs like a nice bowl of porridge. You have to fuel your body to do your exercise.
Any other health secrets you swear by?
Sleep. I feel you have to get a minimum of seven to eight hours sleep if you want to be an athlete and prepare yourself for the next day.
How do you switch off and beat stress? Is it hard balancing all the pressures that come with success?
When you look at it, what real pressures do I have as an athlete? For me, the only way I have stress is if my family is not ok. Other than that I am fine. I meditate and I’ve been doing that for four years. Sadhguru is someone I met when I was at Everton. I have done quite a few sessions with him and he is someone who has been very influential on the way that I think. He simplifies the way you see life.
My perception of life is simple. I just try to do good things and good things will happen. I look at everything as it is. If there is a problem then you just deal with it. Obviously, some problems are bigger than others. But do I really have a massive problem dealing with a fashion line or playing football in one of the biggest cities in the world, or people expecting things of me in the World Cup? I see them all as a plus.
If you fail – whatever anyone else thinks failure is – it is what it is. It doesn’t bother me if I get positive press or negative press. When you’ve got such a strong family bond and with meditation you can make things quite simple.
That is an amazing mental attitude to have and I am sure meditation has played a part in the way you see the world
Mindset is everything in everyday life. Not only football. The way you think effects everything including family life and the way you function. It’s whether or not you let the mental things beat you. And what you think success is and failure is.
Would you say the perception of meditation is changing? From the misconception of it as somewhat hippy to it being regarded a great tool to deal with stress for successful people?
I think it is easy – you take 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening to meditate. Sometimes it is listening to music sometimes, sometimes it is listening to someone speak, sometimes it is just you. But you have to know why you are going to do it. What’s the reasoning behind it? What is your end goal and what positive aspects to you want to get from it? It’s not just something you do because someone tells you it is going to be great.
For me, it was basically to simplify my life. Whether it is scoring a goal in the World Cup, getting a massive accolade or something that is sad I place them all on the same level. I don’t place anything on a higher pedestal. Now, when things happen, it is just another day.
Do you have any rituals before a big game?
I always like to speak to my family before a game. Spending time with my kids in the morning or at least speaking to them before I go on the pitch. I like listening to music too. Mainly old-school RnB like The Fugees, Boyz II Men that sort of era. Just easy listening that relaxes me.
Tell us something people might be surprised to learn about you.
What you see is what you get with me. I’m a father of four. My favourite movie is Finding Nemo. I probably know every word to that movie as I’ve watched it with each of my kids from my first child all the way through to my fourth. I’m actually the biggest kid in my family. What you see is what you get.
On a less serious note, you’re obviously a devoted dad and husband, but many of your female fans also consider you a sex symbol. How does the whole heartthrob thing sit with you?
You know what? To be honest it’s a massive compliment. It amuses my wife and my mum a lot and my kids have a giggle about it. I don’t read about it too much so I just take it as a compliment when people tell me.
Finally, do you have a life motto?
Fearless. I say that because there is really nothing to lose is there when you look at everything you’re going to achieve. Be fearless at the right way. There is nothing to lose not everything in life is about winning.
Visit Tim’s website www.TimCahill.com or follow him on Instagram @Tim_Cahill