When I was six, I became a Lady Bug, at seven a Bumble Bee, followed that at nine with a Mustang, then Athena when I was ten, countless other team names came and went and now I am a Ruffian (yes now). I’ve always played soccer because I love the game. I’m what you call an “all round” player which means I’ll be ok anywhere. I volunteer at a local school which does all that it can for the students but it has very few activities for the kids. I often wish that these kids could play a team sport, like soccer, and learn some of the life lessons that I see every day in this World Cup. But these lessons aren’t just for kids, they are for all of us.
Lesson 1: Have a plan
The US coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, exemplifies this right now. He is setting expectations – US will not win, will be lucky to get past the Round of 16. He is making tough choices now, like letting go of top players for new talent. However, he is working with the team to be stronger than ever for the 2018 World Cup and to advance further then. The US has a solid plan and is executing against it.
Lesson 2: Mistakes are part of the game – keep playing
Even with a great plan, you have to know that things will not go 100% according to plan. In soccer, you might say the winners make fewer mistakes, but then think about the first 2014 World Cup goal; an own goal, by Brazil, one of the best teams in the world. The player, Marcelo did not give up; he had mental toughness and recovered quickly. He fought to win and so did his team. You get up, dust yourself off and keep playing to win.
Hope you enjoyed this installment of “Lessons Learned”. Post yours here too.