Adversity and The Joy It Heralds

So we had our Club try outs a couple of weeks ago and those that read my past ramblings about it know that we cut some returning players. While the process is never easy for anyone involved, it was a particularly difficult thing for me to do this year.  Part of the process is being able to look at the man in the mirror and asking if I have taken the players in question as far as I can, are there any components that are being overlooked due to the familiarity of the player? So many questions with so many unknowns.

I had the opportunity to sit down and have a very in-depth discussion with one of the players that did not make it. The player was able to articulate her sense of frustration and sadness in not making our particular team. As we spoke about her disappointment and what her goals for her game, we were able to have a real dialogue about how disappointments can be a great motivator if we only quiet our internal voice and follow our passions. I was able to help her make the connection that it was time for her to move beyond her present comfort level to new challenges and that those challenges might hold the key to her next breakthrough or even unlock a troublesome aspect of her game. We both left knowing that our relationship was not over, it was just another stage of growth.

I want to share some of the other things that came about in that discussion as I feel they have real merit in our day-to-day lives. We spoke a bit about how teams develop and the importance of having a means to measure our performance to growth potential. How it is the games we lose that sometimes have the most relevance to our growth overall. We all like to win but winning should be a product of understanding and work, not something left to fate or luck.

In our talk, I asked the player if she knew what it means to be truly happy and content on a day-to-day basis, to which she responded “absolutely”- so I then asked her if she would share with me the moment that created such sadness that true happiness was revealed to her. Of course I got the expected “do what” answer and I went on to explain that no one truly knows what happiness can really be until we have suffered utter disappointment, not disappointment in things or events but disappointment because we could have done more, been better prepared or any number of things that would have brought about the results we were hoping for.  Our happiness can be defined by all of the things we go about doing each and every day that assure us of the results we are wishing for.

Our growth is so tied in with the challenges we come across daily and without those challenges, it is doubtful that any of us would move beyond the construct of who we were yesterday. Teams certainly do not grow by doing the same things day in and day out, why should individual players be any different. Just as students are tested to gauge how well they are comprehending the material they are being presented, so do players, and all of us for that manner. Once we have been tested, we know for ourselves if we made the grade, if we measure up to the expectations put before us. Our Try-outs were just one of many test along the way for soccer players. Those that passed and fit the dynamic being created for these teams have just gotten through the 1st of many challenges ahead of them.

Adversity is a constant in life and if we embrace it, it will open doors for us that we may have never known even existed. I for one chose to see those opportunities as a means to a better understanding of the world in which I chose to live. Without some of the adversities that I have had to face, I would have missed out on some of the most joyous things, people and moments in my life.

May your challenges always give you strength and lead you to new doors.

till I see you on the pitch




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