Blogpost, SoccerLifeBalance

Soccer Karma

IMG_3939Our beliefs tend to color or almost define our worlds.  The thoughts that we hold most dear are the filters through which we cyphon our experiences and produce meaning.  Recognizing this would make one think that people would be deliberate in the creation of their beliefs.  Unfortunately this is rarely true.  People’s beliefs are often a mismatch of heritage and circumstances.  This haphazard approach is bound to lead to disaster more often than not.  I’m not here to offer a complete belief system but rather one small sample: Soccer Karma!

I’m a huge believer in soccer karma.  It is a term that I may have coined (or stolen, not sure!).  The concept is simple.  On the soccer field, if you give a good ball, you’re going to get a good ball.  Meaning that if you give a quality pass to a teammate, they’re going to give you a quality one back.  This is, of course, not completely accurate.  It’s completely possible that you give a good ball and get a crap one back!  This is true.  However the belief matters more than the reality.  If I believe that my intent is going to have positive returns, I’m more likely to put effort in that direction.  That effort will eventually influence those around me, especially if we all believe the same thing.  This belief acts a ratchet that brings positive returns.

For years now, I’ve been professing the positives of this belief system.  While I know that it has paid dividends for my players and teams on the field, my hope has always been that the metaphors of our sport are not lost on those who play it.  The moment that we step off of the field, we are being released out into a larger venue with bigger stakes and uncertain scoring.  Regardless of that, the belief system can be applied with equal effectiveness.  If enough of us believe in it, then we truly can make life “a beautiful game”.

The next pass is yours to make!



Quality or Quantity

Quality or QuantityIn recent weeks in my house, music has become a regular topic of conversation.  I’m going to go on a music tangent for a few posts.  So what better place to start than my “favorite” song.  I use the quotations because much like a teenage girl having five different “best” friends, I am unable to etch the title in stone with complete certainty in all situations.  Despite my uncertainty, I will take this opportunity to speak on its behalf.

“Quality or Quantity” by Bad Religion is a one minute and thirty four second barrage of aggressive guitars and drums only to be paralleled by the thought provoking lyrics that are sung over them.  As a young man, I was drawn to the group and their songs because their rebellious nature matched my own.  Songs like “Do what you want” were irreverent enough to align with the feelings of a teenage boy searching for his place.  The surprising thing is not that Q or Q became my favorite song but that it has stayed in that position for so long.

The reason for its longevity is the fact that it sparks a new thought in my present situation each time that I hear it.  As it has been said by many others, “you can never step in the same river twice because each time, the water is different and you are different.”  In the 1990’s Q or Q was an angry rally against the materialism of the world.  It made me think long and hard about the perception of the US to the rest of the world.  At the time I also thought there was an answer.  Obviously quality was the more desirable of the two in all situations.  Leave it to a young man to think he knows everything.

Now as an older and hopefully wiser man, the song hits me in very different ways.  The answer is not so simple and I’m not as angry.  There truly is a choice to be made between quality and quantity in each day.  Circumstances are rarely such that we can choose highest quality in every single moment.  The choices that we make on a moment to moment basis add up to a sum total of our life experience.  The choices are almost infinite and that particular quantity puts a huge responsibility on each individual.  We must be filters of our own experience.  Being deliberate in the way that we spend our time and emotion is essential to finding balance.

I’m not sure how it fits but I am now less concerned about finding the answers.  Now I revel more in finding myself in the search.

Enjoy the search today.