miscellaneous monday: motivation

As you may have gathered, or those of you who are regularly readers, miscellaneous mondays have been missing. This is because even though the topics were miscellaneous the weekly occurrence of such posts were not. Today, I write miscellaneous about something that is indeed miscellaneous.

Coaching youth soccer, or coaching any sport for that matter, teaching techniques and tactics are a heavy part of it. Physical fitness, or athleticism, is a necessity as well. Those three are rarely overlooked, whereas the psychological aspect of the game can be and often is. There are teams, whose players I have coached, were very technically sound, tactically brilliant and incredibly athletic. However, if that fourth – mental – aspect is left out, there is no motivation, desire or passion.  A will to win can often be blown off the field by a light breeze.

There are many aspects of the psyche; I will not address them all today, but did want to touch on motivation. I am never short of surprised at the things that motivate some of my youth soccer players. Last season, I wrote a little about the purple marker that reminded me to have fun while I am out there. This season, having some of the same girls mixed with some new ones, I would need to find what motivated them. They too were excited about the purple marker but never quite enough to get the job done.

Last Sunday, at halftime of a scoreless game, two players approached me asking, “if we score two or three goals will you shave your beard?”

To which I replied, “well which is it? two? or three?” They quickly went with a definite “two!”

I agreed “if y’all score two girls AND win, I will shave my beard.” We won 2-1 and very few people recognize me. 🙂 Very worth it though and since then we have tied 1-1 and won 3-1 (the win coming yesterday meant my assistant Dave had to shave his beard.)

Naturally, I would love for the girls to be intrinsically motivated instead of something like a purple marker or beard or even a purple beard. For now, in practices I am working to instill a competitiveness through a number of games and series of drills. Ideally, their competitive side will grow and they will eventually share my desire to win. Until then, I will continue to regrow my beard and promise to shave it upon their success.

P.S. Writing this post, I realized how many other angles I can write about motivation and most likely will in the not too distant future.


on reading point-some-arbitrary-number

In mid-February, I posted a reading survey.01 to kickstart future posts to write about reading. I was curious what readers of my blog read, outside of blogs, primarily in book form. Today I report the results, including my answers and a promise for another survey soon. I will use  bold italics to highlight answer options from the survey.

My favorite author is Jonathan Tropper. I like his ability to bring even more life to everyday situations. His humor and wit are well-written into each of his characters. Most of his protagonist are similar to me in age, making them all the more familiar, relatable. I was happy to see the variety of answers I received from the favorite author; understanding as well that not everyone can pick just one. I could have narrowed results by asking for a favorite from a particular time or place but left it wide open. Maybe future posts will explore those specifications. At any rate, check out Tropper’s books. If you need a place to start – This is Where I Leave You will be in theaters September 2014: starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda & Adam Driver (to name a few).

I read a pretty good balance of literary fiction, non-fiction, and fantasy/science-fiction. The results of the survey proved the same for its participants. I try to read at least three books a month, whereas most of those surveyed read less than one. The second most popular number ranged between one and three. I also still read printed books. It is followed by a close second by audio-books (which I still call books on tape, not unlike this guy). Those surveyed reported that they mostly read printed books. It was followed by both printed and digital but more digital and just digitally downloaded books. Unfortunately, I did not include audio-books in this survey but will illuminate the medium in an eventual post. This past weekend, I had an interesting conversation about the word ‘medium’ itself. So maybe we can explore some diction in the future as well.

This post comes only days before my full-immersion in SXSW, which will most likely dominate my blog for the next couple of weeks. I do not want to abandon the topic of reading and will assuredly return to it once “South By” subsides.