Blogpost, self-reliance, SoccerLifeBalance

Don’t Think Messi is Special

MessiOne of my bucket list items is completely out of my control.  I want to see the US Men’s National Team win a World Cup before I die.  While I believe this is completely achievable, it will take some doing.  There are many moving parts to this endeavor both on a national and an individual level.  Although I am sure that USSF policies will influence the speed at which this goal is achieved, the greater shift will need to be a cultural one.  Those types of shifts happen in small groups first, then extend outward.  Since the children of today are going to be the major influencers of future culture, my plea is “Don’t think that Messi is special!”

This may come as a slap in the face to the thousands of kids who have Messi on the back of their replica jersey.  That’s not my intention at all.  My hope is for the young players out there to not give themselves an easy way out.  Messi is arguably the best player in the world over the past few years.  This is not due to genetic engineering, magic or divine intervention.  He is a man who has chosen over and over again to hone his craft.  Every day of his life has been spent toward achieving the lofty heights that he has.  Despite all of his accomplishments, I don’t want our young players to think he is special.  Because that let’s them off the hook!

Each one of us has greatness living within us.  It lies dormant until we wake it up and press it out into the open.  Not every young person who likes soccer will be willing to do the work to become a great player like Messi.  However it’s important not to cut it off as a possibility due to a belief that he was in some way predestined to do any of this.  He’s a human who chose to be great.  Don’t put him on a pedestal to be worshiped.  Put him on a staircase to be climbed and leave steps above him.

Greatness is bestowed upon no one, it’s earned everyday with consistent action.

Be great today!




The Best There’s Ever Been

AliThere are often debates with sports about who is the “Best There’s Ever Been”.  In basketball, names like Michael Jordan, Lebron James and Wilt Chamberlain come up often.  In soccer, the names are usually Pele or Messi.  Muhammad Ali proclaimed himself to be the “greatest of all time”.  Many of these conversations are apples to oranges comparisons that are nothing more than opinion.  The positive side to these debates is that they give a peak model for the newcomers to follow.

For most of us, we were not born with the necessary tools to be the “best ever” in anything.  The books “The Talent Code” and “Outliers” outline many of the factors that contribute to the recipe of greatness.  Despite the lack of ingredients, there is no reason for the everyday person to shy away from the thought of greatness.  We must reach for rungs on a ladder that we are able to climb effectively.  By comparing myself to Messi, I’m setting myself up for failure and disappointment.  In order to find true comparative success in anything, there is one basis for comparison – self!

In ourselves we can find both our truest basis for comparison and our best competition.  “Never try to be better than someone else.  But rather be the best you can be.” is a quote from legendary UCLA coach John Wooden.  As we standardize test and rank everything from our number of friends to attractiveness, it seems as though we’ve become obsessed with comparison to others.  This obsession moves us farther from the comparison that we really must  do in front of a mirror or in our mind’s eye.  You don’t need to try to be the best there’s ever been.  You only need to be the best you that you’ve ever been.

Go do you!