I got roped into coaching my girls’ soccer team this year. I didn’t play soccer. I don’t watch soccer. I didn’t even really know the rules to soccer. But, I volunteered, which basically means you give your time for the better good (isn’t that a nice way to describe volunteering?).
We had our first game a few weeks ago and our second game more recently. As I coached the girls on our team, I realized there are a few things adults can learn from pee-wee soccer.
1. You need to know what direction you are going.
The girls aren’t really big on the rules of soccer yet, so the main thing is knowing what direction to kick the ball. At the beginning of each quarter, we point in the direction we are heading. We know where the goal is and what direction to kick the ball!! Just like in life, if you don’t know what direction you are heading, it really doesn’t matter what path you choose.
2. High-fives mean a lot.
We are out on the field. Running, kicking the ball. Maybe we even score a goal!! High-five! Hooray!!
The other team scores a goal! High-five! Good hustle.
We should find success in our accomplishments! High-five! Good job. Smile.
Give yourself a break; you have done something well. Glory in your work and in the work of others!
High-five. Good job!
So, in pee-wee soccer, nobody keeps score (well, there is that parent…). But really, the point is to have a good time playing! When you score, you cheer. When the other team scores, we cheer! As we did this, both teams came away from a goal with smiles! It was exciting. It was contagious! Besides that parent that was keeping score, we were all having fun, and to be honest, I don’t know who scored more goals because it didn’t matter. We were all cheering for one another.
Let’s stop the poison envy and work on sharing in another’s success!
3. Sometimes you aren’t the fastest or the biggest, but you are still an integral part of the team.
One little girl on the team isn’t big. She isn’t particularly fast. She often doesn’t even get a chance to kick the ball. At the end of the game, she was so upset, she ran out and yelled at the other girls: “You aren’t my friends anymore!” She was frustrated. It is tough being the small one: the one who didn’t seem to be contributing much. But, she is part of the team, and we all have different talents and abilities.
In pee-wee soccer and life, we aren’t always the fastest or the biggest or the most talented. Sometimes we are in the game and we don’t even get a chance to kick the ball. It is frustrating and can be discouraging. But, that is part of the game. You keep showing up. You keep running and working your hardest. Someone may be great at kicking the ball and another may be great at developing team spirit (boy did this little one have spirit!). We may think life is an individual contest, but truly, we are all part of a team. We can all help one another. We can all be connected to something larger and bigger than ourselves. Use the talents that you have to make a difference!
4. When you fall down, get back up and keep running.
There was a lot of falling down. There were stumbles and trips on the field. But, those girls got back up, pointed in the direction of the goal and started running.
What a life lesson! You get back up after you fall. You reset where you are headed, and run like crazy!! You may skin your knee, and want to give up, but you always get back up.
5. There are more important things than winning.
Really, there are.
I know, I just lost a few die-hard soccer fans. It really isn’t about winning. I promise that isn’t really the point — in pee-wee soccer or in life. It’s about learning skills, bettering ourselves, and maybe learning a few things about our weaknesses. I need to practice passing. I need to practice giving. My corner kick needs some work. My temper could use an adjustment.
I know that I have learned more from my heartaches than from my successes. It is not whether I win. I win either way because either I win or I learn.
Ah, I am sure I am in for more lessons from coaching soccer. We are headed into game three and four this week!!
What has participating in sports taught you about life?
Let me know below!!