“The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.” ~ Vince Lombardi
Winning. A feeling of euphoria. A feeling of accomplishment. That moment when we achieve the success we’ve been striving for.
Soccer season began this past weekend. I have a team of twelve 9-year old boys that love soccer, and have a real desire to play hard and win. Over the summer, the team we had (many of the same players) had a very tough loss where I wrote about the lesson we learn from losing.
This weekend was the start of a new soccer season. A group of 9-year old boys who love the sport. Tough losses from last season were forgotten. Practices to start the new season were filled with much learning. There was a real sense of positivity on the whole team.
Game one of the season. We were playing on all cylinders. Passing was excellent. For the most part, kids were playing their positions. The kids and I quickly felt confident about our effort being put forth. We started the game strong, and finished with an easy win. Everyone was excited with our first performance of the year. As coach, I was extremely proud of their performance, and of the attitude they displayed during and after the game.
There were several things we took away from this win.
- Teamwork: By playing together as a team, we had success. There were moments during the game when one person would become the team, and forget everyone else. The result: we would lose the ball. Conversely when we really worked together as a team, passing the ball, playing the positions, we had success in moving the ball up the field and getting a shot on goal. Takeaway: To be successful in life, we’re not going to do it all by ourselves. We’ll need the help of others along the way, and we’ll need to work with others and develop a team attitude to get many of the things we desire in life.
- Basics: In practice, we have been working on the fundamentals. Passing, dribbling, shooting, defense, endurance. We go over these at every practice. The idea is that we need to have the basics of soccer down before we can move on to more advanced moves. We need to master the fundamentals. These need to become second-nature. Takeaway: To be successful in life, we need to get the basics down, as well. Things that we practice over and over, learning the basics of life. Things like manners, personal care, love, … Things that will endure.
- Attitude: Attitude is an important part of playing sports. In losing, or in winning. In winning, it was important that we not run up the score, and be gracious when shaking hands with the other team after the game. Knowing what it’s like to be on the other end, it is important that our players treat the other team with respect. Takeaway: We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control our attitude — whether the outcome is good or bad. We can choose to be positive, or we can choose to be negative. And, in choosing a positive attitude, we have a much better opportunity at success in our life.
- Have Fun: I have a team of boys that all love soccer. They are there because they want to play. They are out on the field during the game, laughing, cheering each other on, and generally just having fun doing something they love. Takeaway: When we do something we love, and have fun doing it — success is with us every step of the way.
Winning! Something we all love to do — whether that’s a project at work, a marathon, or a life lived the way we desire. And, if we work hard, have a positive can-do attitude, and have fun — then we have given ourselves the ingredients for a life filled with many successes. We will have created a winning life!