Daniel Grimshaw’s made good use of the time he’s spent with Pep Guardiola’s first team squad by doing just that.
The young goalkeeper, who travelled with the team to the Carabao Cup final this season, feels he’s gained so much from observing how Manchester City’s established stars prepare for the grand stages and now he’s hoping to reap the benefits in the UEFA Youth League semi-final.
By his own admission, the 20-year-old is naturally relaxed.
He thrives in the big games, when everything matters that little bit more and he’s proved that already in Europe this season, making saves in the last 16 and the quarter-final penalty shoot-out wins over Inter Milan and Liverpool.
That pressure brings out his best, he says, but he’s still been watching and learning from the Blues’ senior professionals and now he’s ready to shine against Barcelona.
“This year I’ve learnt quite a lot in terms of the importance of the mental side of the game,” he explains.
“Especially in the warm-up. Now I use it to switch-on more than I have done previously.
“I’ve watched what the first team do. Obviously, they have nerves, but they don’t show it. They’re relaxed.
“Nerves are good and I’d be concerned if I wasn’t a bit nervous in the tunnel before a game, but I’m quite relaxed.
“The pressure doesn’t get to me, it almost helps because I like playing in the big games, when there is that pressure.
“I think every player does, but for me personally, they are the games that get me going the most and you look forward to them and try and play your best.”
With his penalty shoot-out heroics, Grimshaw’s been the go to man in the UEFA Youth League so far.
There were tough games against Inter and Liverpool, who asked questions of Simon Davies’ side, but now in the final four, the boyhood Blue feels the stern tests in the previous rounds will stand City in good stead for Barcelona.
“They were positives experience,” adds the man who joined the Club aged five.
“Because if it goes to penalties on Friday, we’ve already had two occasions when we’ve came out on top.”
“It’s a big competition and we’re playing one of the best teams in the world, with a lot of people watching, so you want to perform.
“Luckily, I’ve helped the team get through in the last few games and I’m looking forward to the semi-final when hopefully we can do it again.”