Family Life

Soccer and SEALs

Last year, about this time, I wrote about my boys not accepting a soccer trophy (they did not earn it). Needless to say, there were a number of opinions on that article, but this year, I bring you an update, and a couple of lessons we may have picked up along the way. 

On the field this year, we look like a team of little boys that actually knows what’s going on and how the game is played, and let me tell you, these games are getting fun. Now, we are only in second grade, but to see how far all the boys have come in a year speaks a lot on not only them but also coach Brent, as they could never do it without him. And, don’t think for a minute that I would jump in the middle of this and toss my hat in the ring for a coaching position. I may be able to do a lot of things but coaching my children is a hard pass.  

So, back to the game. These guys are holding positions, passing the ball to each other, and really learning how the game works. More importantly, they’re learning how to work as a team to get things done. Some of them are learning they can’t always be the one to dribble down the field and take the shot themselves every time; they have to pass it off and win together. Also, they are learning what teamwork is, and that is one of the skills I’m most proud of them for. 

You see, I work with many teams from different organizations, and the most highly effective teams are the ones who collaborate and work together, not the ones that work in silos and divide up the tasks and responsibilities and report back. I have heard that (not sure if it is true, but I would hope it is) arguably the most highly-effective teams in the world may be the Navy SEALs. We all know the training is some of the most intense you can come by, but what you may not know is there is the normal training and obstacle courses they work (which we all know helps train and build confidence), and there is another course that is designed with the theory of: you can’t do it alone, and maybe some can, but the point is to weed out those actors that want to do it alone and find those who will find a way to work it along together. However, I cannot confirm this. Now, when these soon-to-be SEALs learn to work as a team, they can get done so much faster. People naturally want to be part of something, usually a team. When they run this course, it points out those who want to do it alone and those who want to learn to form teams and work together. 

So often we think that we have to go through things alone and that we are the only ones out there who can do it. When really, we need to step back, pass the ball over to the guy who is wide open on our team, and give him a chance to run. You never know what might happen. These little guys are not just learning who can make it down the field, but they are helping each other learn that they each have a role on the team, and they all have to work together to win. 

So I guess the question is: are you going to pass the ball or help the other guy over the wall because you can’t do it alone? 

And, who would have thought that you could learn all this from a soccer game while connecting the dots back to the Navy SEALs? Thanks, Coach Brent, for teaching them more than just how to pass the ball.

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