This season I have found myself reflecting on my passion for coaching.
Did I give 100% of myself to my teams?
Did I touch on everything I wanted to teach my players as a group and as individuals?
Are my players a reflection of who I am as a person off the field?
Most importantly, how much of my family time did I sacrifice in order to give my players the best opportunities to advance in their careers?
I often get asked by younger coaches or those looking to start coaching, do I ever regret leaving my 9-5 job in order to pursue coaching?
You know, there are days that I do question myself but those are few and far between – I have yet to seriously regret following my passion. My wife and kids have come along for what has been a very bumpy ride. However, no other job has afforded me the opportunity to do two things – instill passion in athletes and spend time with my sons, watching them play a sport which they have all grown to love.
I wake up every day looking forward to stepping on the pitch and interacting with kids teaching them to be men, to be warriors, and about brotherhood. Being part of the team just isn’t enough for me, I think that a brotherhood of warriors transcends the idea of just belonging. It is the idea that when we step off the field we carry the ideals we are taught and make those around us better because our passion is just that powerful.
I want people to notice my athletes when they walk into a room. I tell them at every session, they are a reflection of each other – when one quits whether it be at practice or in a game they are not just quitting on themselves, they are quitting on their brothers. They are telling the team that by them quitting they care not for the struggles they have all overcome.
I remember the first time I talked to them about how I view the game – I always equate the game to war. When we step on the field we are going to war. One of the players looked at me puzzled and asked if I wanted them to fight. I said, yes, I want you to fight from the first whistle to the last. His response? “I’ll get a Red Card, coach.” I looked at the young man and said when I tell you fight I mean have a Never Quit attitude towards the other team – show your teammates that no matter how the game is going you will give it your all to the end. It was quite funny watching him process what I had just told him. From that time forward, this particular player has been the captain of the team and every player, coach, and parent has noticed this change in him.
I could talk about passion all day, but at the end of the day passion without action is nothing more than a word. The next time you are on the pitch with your team, take a look and see each one individually. How do they carry themselves on the pitch during practice, during a game? Those of us that have experienced that deep passion can spot a player just going thru the motions from a mile away. Create a culture of brotherhood within your team, you will be surprised how much it will change your season.
What is the biggest struggle YOU face right now as a soccer coach? Comment below…
Pro Staff Coach
Texans Soccer Club – Houston