Blogpost, self-reliance, SoccerLifeBalance

Neither Batman Nor Jüergen Klopp

Notice a simple fact. Robin did not name himself Batboy nor Batman Jr. Even when Dick Grayson rebranded himself as Nightwing, it was partially to come into his own. Only when he took over the role of Batman, did he also take on the name. In a fictitious city with fictitious people, a young man understood the need for him to separate himself from him his idol, mentor and hero.

Despite the fact that I am a fan of heroes (super or otherwise), there needs to be caution used by us mere mortals who idolize them. The role of the hero can take on several possible forms. Depending on the circumstance, they can also be counted upon to save those in distress. They can also give us a model to emulate in some way. Both of these roles of the hero have their place in real and fictitious worlds. The onus needs to be on the fan to wear her/his own metaphorical cape.

Although heroes are most well known for saving people, that role creates issues. People who are unable to save themselves are victims. Relying completely upon a hero to save you continuously (Louis Lane) is a strategy that encourages weakness, inaction and dependence. Most people are smart enough to avoid this trap. The perils of the real world for most people are also less sinister than that of a superhero. The supervillains are not around every corner.

Being a model to emulate is a powerful function of the hero. The issue here is that everyone is fallible. Even the superheroes within comic worlds have their foibles. More importantly, no matter how perfect of a model any hero might be, you will never be them. Regardless of your attention to detail or persistence, transmission of consciousness into another body is even hokey in the comic world. So watch YES! Learn YES! Emulate SURE! Worship NO! Deify UH UH!

Coming back to the real world and in particular the soccer world, there are plenty of players and coaches to choose as heroes. On the coach side of things, Jüergen Klopp is the flavor of the month/year. If you chose to do so, you could study all of his interviews, strategies and possibly get into his mindset. You could even get JK screenprinted onto your jacket, hopefully for JUST KIDDING. Despite all of that effort, no matter what you cannot be him. It’s an interesting question to ask, “What would Jüergen Klopp do with my U10 girls team?” An even better question is “What are you going to do with them?” After all of mental posturing that we might do in relation to our heroes, the equation always ends with you being you. All of your thoughts and actions get syphoned through the person that you are.

So rather than spending too much time trying to be someone else, envision the best version of you in the future. Like Serpentor from GI JOE, take the best from your heroes and develop a new version of yourself. As you progress through the process of becoming a better you, remember that you cannot be Jüergen Klopp but maybe you can replace him. That’s a better goal to have because it keeps you in the picture as you. You cannot be Batman nor Jüergen Klopp but you can take pieces from either in order to be the best you.

Be your own hero!

Pete

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