In this brief solo talk, I discuss some of the things that I believe are being missed in our current soccer culture. Even they may be the most pressing and most apparent, they seem to be the most overlooked. Send in your thoughts and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Often the most important things are hiding in plain sight. We cannot see them because we’re so busy looking at things that we’ve been told are important or think that we value. A deeper inspection usually reveals that we’ve overlooked the most crucial things in the name of the most frivolous. It’s not particularly our fault as our brains were hardwired to concentrate on the urgent and short term because the long term was not guaranteed. Also there are some things that we look past completely because of the fact that they are so pervasive. One of my favorite questions to ask during presentations is “what is the most important thing that you’re going to do today?” I get a variety of answers depending on the crowd but the answer should be the same for everyone: breathe! The answer is so obvious and yet almost everyone misses it because it’s overlooked. My work at the moment is at a tenuous place where I am trying to balance that which I know is most important and what people actually see. So for now I am going to continue to do what I believe is right… NOT CARE!
I’ve decided to intertwine two of my greatest passions into one because in my eyes they fit so perfectly together. The most popular sport in the world (soccer) and the most important skill for doing anything in life (self-belief) are the twin targets that I’ve set my sights on. The reason being that it is important to leverage people’s behavior and soccer has motivated millions of people to shell out big money to have someone teach their child how to kick a ball more effectively. The reverse of that situation is that self-belief is extremely low in our younger generation because they have largely been robbed of the experience of self-discovery. Their activities have been planned for them since birth. Failure has been removed from their lives in order to protect them. And they have largely been taught that they are not as good as the people that they see on the screen of the super computer in their pocket. So what am I going to do about it… NOT CARE!
- I’m not going to care about how many goals you score this season but rather the number of times that you keep working in a tough session.
- I’m not going to care about the number of followers you have on Instagram but rather your ability to lead one person (you).
- I’m not going to care that you didn’t get a starting position on the team but rather the ways that you control those types of outcomes in your life through your choices.
- I’m not going to care about your desire to get recruited by the college of your choice but rather recruit the resources within you to make you an irresistible candidate.
At this point, you probably get the picture. I’m more concerned with the root than the fruit because I know that they’re so completely dependent upon one another. Focusing on the process at the most basic level may not produce the exact result that you’re looking for. It will however produce a person that is worth believing in and that’s what I care about!
This episode I got the chance to talk to Anson Smith, Head Coach of Hunterdon Central High School. We delve into a variety of topics including team culture, Development Academies, personal responsibility, and a host of other topics. You can find his company and contact him directly at http://www.soccersmith.org.
Languages are amazing to me on so many levels. Words and phrases can evoke emotions of all kinds and intensities. They can be both the weapons to hurt and the bandages to heal. Certain languages carry with them differing perspectives that color the way that we go through life. Despite this fact, we seem to be less inclined to use the magic that resides within language. The flourish of Shakespeare has been replaced by the convenience of the text message. While I don’t believe that we need to embellish the daily and mundane with flowery language, it may be helpful to say something more meaningful. Or say the things that have a meaning that will propel us toward a better future rather than maintain our status quo.
Along those lines, I’d like to suggest that no one “lose” their virginity. Depending on your particular background the phrase probably means one of a variety of things. If you’ve been raised in some religious background, there may be twinges of guilt or sin involved with this idea. If that is not an issue, the word “lose” can even create a feeling. Loss is generally seen as a negative and therefore it evokes feelings of that kind. Either because it was something that was supposed to be held onto until it was lost. Or because it was something that was undesired in the first place. In that case the losing is not the negative but rather the having has the negative connotation. With all of this convoluted word talk, it should be evident that the phrase does not actually serve the action well.
Rather than “losing their virginity”, people should be “earning their sexuality”. In the long past, the idea of losing virginity probably worked because of the pervasive religious beliefs about marriage and sin. In a modern context the phrase no longer serves. In fact it probably harms, more than it helps. So rather than an instantaneous change from virgin to not, why not embrace the idea that this is a process. Sex has been sold, contorted and embellished in so many ways that it’s perception barely resembles what it is. Perpetuating this will only lead to disaster for young people. So why not, “earn sexuality”?
The reason for “earn” is that it should not be viewed as a right. Also the process of earning something does not usually happen in an instant. Therefore it requires a more involved set of steps. In my opinion, the initial steps should be small, subtle and unrushed. At all times, it should be the individual and not the force of society that decides on the most comfortable pace to progress. Again the reason for the use of the word “earn” is extremely deliberate because it suggests a transaction of other actions to eventually received the privilege of the next step. Perhaps these actions will come from self-reflection or partner discussion. Regardless it puts the idea of process to the forefront rather than bravado or shame. So whether you’ve lost it already or not, perhaps consider the idea of changing the language around first sexual encounters. Maybe the shift in wording will change the way that we think and that might be enough.