Thursday, April 9, 2009

Learnings from Being Back on the Field - Part 4

This week I have been posting some things I learned when I played soccer this past weekend. You can scroll down to read the first three parts if you haven't read them. Today I want to look at part 4...

4. The team needs encouraged throughout the game.

No one wants to be criticized in the middle of the game. Everyone makes a bad pass, misses a shot way over the cross bar, or makes a bad defensive play. When someone does that, they know it. They feel bad about it. The last thing they want is for someone to point it out to them.
I think that as the game progresses and the players get more and more tired it becomes easier and easier to criticize instead of encouraging. It is so much better to hear positive affirmation throughout the game.

As I was playing the game I tried to find those times when I could encourage our team. If it was a good pass or shot or defensive stand I would call it out. If our goal keeper made a save we all cheered. In that moment, the whole team is happy!

Because we are all over 40 we play the game in quarters instead of halves. It gives us extra time to take a break. It is also a great time to encourage. We can talk about the good things that happened and seek to build upon them. Coming off the sideline should be the time every player is most juiced up -they have rested and they have been encouraged.

I know I need to do a much better job of encouraging in my day to day life. It is so easy to get caught up in all of the doing that I miss out on the opportunities to say "Good job!" It's not about just recognizing scoring the goal that wins the game. It's also about the passes and the defense that put the team in the position to score. The same goes for our lives. It's not just about those big moments, it's about all of those smaller choices along the way that led to the big moment. There will be many, many more smaller, integrity and character development moments in our lives than big moments. We need to find more ways to celebrate those and encourage into those moments everyday.


Tom Beagan said...

Of course in soccer every goal is scored because of all of the previous movements that put the ball in a shooting location, because the sum is greater than any of the single parts and we is greater than me! That is something I have never liked about baseball. A team loses 1-0 and the pitcher gets the loss. Seems to me if a pitcher holds an opposing team to 1 run, the batters should get the loss :)