Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wisdom from My Son's Soccer Coach

"In time and space...if you just look for what's right - in others, in relationships, in yourself and your journey - you'll always find it. Same when looking for what's wrong." --The Universe, from www.TUT.com

Last week I sat and watched my son's soccer practice instead of just dropping him off with his coach.

As I sat there, I was temped to read or check email or otherwise pass the time by doing something else, but I kept getting the message that I needed to watch.

So each time the multi-tasking reflex struck, I gently reminded myself to focus my attention on the field.

It soon became clear to me what I was doing there. I was there to watch a little positivity in action.

My son's coach found something positive to say about everything that happened on the field that day. If a kid got his foot on the ball, even if it was ultimately taken away from him, the comment was, "Way to get in there." If a kid tried to pass and the ball went astray, the comment was, "Good idea."If a kid made an attempt on the goal and missed, the comment was always, "Nice try."

And it wasn't just the blunders that got positive feedback.

If a kid made a great pass, or a great block, or scored a goal with their weak foot, all of these got a "Way to go," from the coach.

This didn't change at the game on Saturday.

Although I had been present at most of the games this season, this time I was watching more closely, watching for more "looking for what's right," and I found it. In spades.

In this game my son made four attempts at a goal (something he does not usually have the opportunity to do because of his strong preference for playing defense), none of them successful. Not one.

Nonetheless, the comments from his coach went as follows: "Way to go! Nice try! You were SO close! I am so proud of you!"

And he was.

His coach was as excited about my son's four misses as he was about any goal scored in the game. Not that he wasn't excited about those too.

The best players on the team (the ones who score every week again and again and again) get as much encouragement as those who are still learning the game and none of it rings false because he truly focuses on every positive thing.

And you know what I have noticed? These kids are getting better every week. Each and every one.

Even the kids who, to the untrained eye, maybe seemed a little bit hopeless.

So here's another thing I am adding to my list of "Things to Try:" I'm looking for what's right. In what goes wrong AND in what goes right and in everything in between. Because I'm learning that there's always a reason to say, "Way to go!"

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