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.

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i am going to…

What comes to mind when I say that it is that time of year? Your answer to that question would give you some insight into your priorities. Most likely, it is not a time of year but a collection of times of year for you. Christmas shopping, decorating, sweater wearing, & caroling time? MLB trade time? NFL playoff contention time? Annual giving time? Year end review time? Time to start thinking about next year? Time to get cozy with friends and family?

One question that has been on my mind lately, really goes in stride with this time (the end of one year, beginning of another). It is a question of self-evaluation and a call to improve. What are you “going to start doing”? Close to a New Year’s resolution, the question motivates me to eliminate the future aspect and DO versus plan on doing. Popular answers that come to mind include eating better, exercising more, drinking more water (less of other liquids), sleeping more, listening more, writing or reading more, staying in touch, and so on and so on. Setting goals is a great way for us to measure our successes and learn from our failures.