“Hit them harder,” Reinecker shouts, holding the boxing pads up.
I’m breathing hard, my face dripping with sweat from all the running I’ve had to do tonight. Reinecker’s methods are like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Instead of focusing on things like ball skills, Reinecker is teaching me to focus purely on power. It’s not the kind of power development that the Professor was talking about either. Reinecker teaches pure aggression and quite frankly I’m having difficulty keeping up.
“Come on,” Reinecker shouts, “hit them harder.”
I begin dribbling the ball towards where Reinecker is standing with the boxing pads, trying to pick up as much pace as possible. As I reach the German, I turn my shoulder and slam as hard as I can into the boxing pads, just like he’s told me too.
A bright flash of pain blurs my vision as I make contact with the pads and I involuntarily drop to my knees, clutching my shoulder.
“Better,” Reinecker shouts, looming over me, “but it’s still not the killer instinct.”
He holds up the pads again.
“Hit them,” he orders, “with your fists.”
I stand up, still holding my shoulder.
“This is soccer, not boxing,” I say with a frown.
Reinecker curls his mouth in contempt.
“You think they’re so different? Come on, hit them.”
I punch one of the pads half-heartedly.
“Ha,” Reinecker says, “you would be laughed at if you punched like that in a boxing ring.”
I throw another punch, harder this time.
“Harder,” Reinecker barks, his eyes narrowing.
I punch even harder, trying to throw the whole of my weight into the blow.
“Harder!” Reinecker screams, swinging the pad so it connects painfully with the side of my head, knocking me to the ground.
The shock of the impact knocks the breath right out of me and as I lie on the ground it hurts to even try and breathe. I struggle to blink away the little white stars blurring my vision. They eventually disappear, but something unexpected replaces the pain in my chest. Rage.
It propels me to my feet and I begin swinging wildly at Reinecker, not caring if I hit the pads or his flesh with my clenched fists. My arms keep swinging, slamming hard into the pads again and again until, utterly exhausted, I fold, resting my hands on my knees, gasping for breath.
Reinecker laughs, a loud harsh sound that fills the empty pitch.
“Now that,” he says, “is the killer instinct.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK: Is Reinecker’s training helping Nathi? Why or why not?