Tired Of Losing Good Players?

All I wanted was a place where a sweet, bright, compassionate, curious, courteous little boy could go kick a soccer ball around with some other kids. So we looked at a local soccer club sanctioned by an apparently reputable national soccer organization. We paid a few hundred dollars and were quite excited. We suited and geared up. We had a private coach for a few one-on-one sessions and continued to be excited.

Boy-oh-boy were we excited!

Then at the soccer club, day after day, practice after practice, week after week, what I got was a sweet, bright, compassionate, curious, courteous little boy who came off the field every evening with tears in his eyes – clearly distraught and disappointed.

“Poppy, I know we were in this together, but I can’t do the bullying anymore. I can’t listen to the name calling anymore. I can’t listen to the shouts of “You suck!” and “You’re such a loser” anymore. I can’t deal with those couple of guys that take my ball away and intentionally kick it over the fence.

“I’ve done what you told me. I tried to ignore them. I have asked the coach to deal with them. I know that you asked the coach to deal with them. I have tried to stay away from them on the field. I have not used my taekwondo moves with any of them. But it just keeps happening.

“I don’t think soccer is my thing …”

No, hijo, it is bullying that isn’t your thing; it is an abysmal lack of coaching skills that aren’t your thing; it is parents that are bullying assholes that aren’t your thing; it is ignorance that isn’t your thing.

Yes, we’re in this together. Thinking is your thing. Compassion is your thing. Restraint is your thing. Being kind to others and lifting them up is your thing.

No, hijo, that kind of law enforcement agency, … er, … soccer is not my thing either.

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Article written by

Stephen L. Kent, founder and president of The Results Group, Ltd., has more than 35 years of leadership, training and facilitation experience. As a leadership & training consultant, he specializes in helping organizations design and implement programs to improve personal, leadership and organizational effectiveness, strategic planning, issues management and community engagement. Steve is a dynamic speaker who is known for his straight talk that gets right to the heart of key issues. He is the author of Strategic Planning & Organizational Culture For Public Safety Agencies and the novel, Covered With Montana - both of which may be purchased on Amazon.com. He and his family reside in Oro Valley, Arizona.

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