Fabian Bredlow: “It has always been important to me that I give 100%”
Since Alexander Nübel’s move to VfB Stuttgart, Fabian Bredlow has been relegated to a secondary role. Last season, he displaced Florian Müller in the Stuttgart goal and provided more stability and was partly responsible for the team’s eventual survival in the league. In the current season, Fabi is still waiting for his first game in the starting eleven. Nevertheless, sitting in the corner and sulking is not an option for him. He continues to stay positive.
You are currently the number 2 goalkeeper at VfB Stuttgart. How do you deal with this situation?
Of course, it’s not easy when you haven’t played for a long time because the expectation is obviously to play. But things can change quickly, and then suddenly you’re playing from one day to the next. You can’t achieve that if you’ve been sitting in the corner sulking for the last five weeks. You have to stay positive. That way, you definitely have a better chance of performing well when the opportunity arises.
How do you manage to stay positive, even though you might know, that you probably won’t play in the next game?
There’s no point in thinking that because you’re not playing, you can ease up in training. In the end, you’re only hurting yourself. It has always been important to me to give 100 percent and to be able to look in the mirror at the end of the day and say to myself: ‘I gave everything today.’ And if the coach decides against me, then that’s his decision. But it has nothing to do with the fact that I didn’t give everything.
“I feel the gratitude every day.”
Here you can find Fabi’s gloves: uhlsport ABSOLUTGRIP Torwarthandschuhe | uhlsport
As you say yourself, it’s important to always give everything. How do you motivate yourself to do that?
I’m simply grateful for what I can achieve and what I’ve already achieved. Turning my childhood dream into a career is something I cherish deeply. And I still feel the gratitude for that every day. When I put on my gloves and head to the training ground, I think about my friends from the past who are now working in offices. Seeing it from this perspective. I realize how fortunate I am. It’s truly a wonderful feeling and it inspires me.
“You have to make sacrifices.”
What advice do you have for young players who want to fulfill the same dream as you?
If you’ve set your sights on becoming a professional football player or goalkeeper, then you need to be prepared to work hard and make sacrifices. This means having less free time, fewer free weekends, and the challenge of juggling everything. You have to take care of school and do everything for your football career in your free time. If you can manage that, then you have a good chance of making it to the top at some point.
The topics of mental strength and cognitive skills play an important role in football. Do you have special methods to improve in these areas?
Yes, that is definitely an area we are working on. At our club, there’s an opportunity to work with a psychologist to discuss various issues. We goalkeepers specifically undergo extensive neuroathletic training, which includes exercises to improve our stress resistance, among other things. This training is incredibly intensive and leaves us exhausted afterward. And the rest comes with time, as you get a little older. At some point, you have your own ways and means of mentally preparing for the game and telling yourself that you can always go on, even if things didn’t go so well in training.