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Continuous Growth Lesson Learned From My Son’s Soccer Tournament

This year my son’s soccer team made it to the season soccer tournaments again.  It was a tough year for his team, and they ended the season right in the middle, with an equal number of wins and losses.  In the tournament, his team as the lowest seed, and that meant that they had to play the 1st seed (the best) team.  Now normally, you would think that such a low seeded team wouldn’t have a chance, especially since they are playing the top team first, but surprisingly they do.

The reasons we are optimistic is because they won their last three out of four games, really improving at the end of this season.  So while my son’s team is still the underdogs, they are very strong underdogs (both figuratively and physically in strength).  Okay, the game is starting…

Results of the First Game

It was like a dream come true, the score was 1 – 0, with my son’s team losing.  Then with less than thirty seconds, my son taps the ball in when there was a scramble for the ball in the opponent’s goal.  All his teammates were screaming and high-fiving him!  It was one of those moments in life that he will never forget (or at least I won’t).

Results of the final game for the Championship

In a grueling match, the final game for the championship was lost, barely. The final score was 1 – 0, this just shows how evenly each of the top four teams really were.  In the final two minutes, through a combination of skill (or luck), one of the best players on the other team hooked a high kick into the upper left corner of the goal post.  It was a beautiful kick and perfectly executed.  We were all sad, but that’s the way games go, sometimes miracle kicks like that land and win the game.  Personally, I was happy for the other team because they gave it their all and did a great job.  Yeah, I wish my son’s team won, but his team seemed happy being finalists (besides, they have already won a championship in the past).

Why this was Tournament was Special

The game was special because the previous superstars that were on my son’s team quit soccer or to a different organization.  Since the team depended on those two key players, we only won one game last season, and that was the very last game to boot.  It was disheartening after winning the championship the three seasons when the superstars were on the team.

So that fact that all the players have improved with the absense of any superstars on the team is a testament to how players all gain when the goal isn’t to pass the ball to one or two key players and then depending on them to do all of the scoring.  I have a feeling next year will be even more impressive than this year.

I think life is like this too.  If you have superstars dictating the show, you remain untested because you learn to depend on those particular superstars in life.  While this isn’t necessarily a horrible thing, it’s a bit bitter because you remain untested, not knowing how high you can fly.

What do you think?  Would you rather have a team with a few superstars and depend on them for everything, or would you rather keep continuously growing and improving your own game in life?

Personally, I want to keep reaching…



16 Responses to Continuous Growth Lesson Learned From My Son’s Soccer Tournament

  1. I want to keep reaching. It is too bad about your son’s team losing, but I agree that it is better to push yourself than rely on others that may be more talented (not just in sports).

  2. I definitely want to keep reach and growing, but I feel like i would strive to do that even if the superstars were on the team. Hopefully, they would be the type that want to be on a team enviornment where we all work together to get better, not just pad their stats.

    But there is nothing like having the weight on your shoulders, testing your abilities, and growing in the process.

    Sounds like your son’s team is going to kick some booty next year. Best of luck and enjoy the show!

    • Yeah, but it’s hard to do that if you only have access to the ball 1 to 2% of the time. Exposure to the ball means improvement.

      Now everybody on the team has exposure and a great chance to grow! I can’t wait until next year, hopefully they keep up their growth trend!

    • I hope so, this is the kind of thing that I wanted my son to get our of team sports. I’m glad the rockstars are gone, this way everybody on the team is at least in the band!

  3. The best part – it’s probably more fun for the other folks on the team even though their win rate may decrease now that the superstars are gone. So more fun + more improvement = a winning situation. 🙂

    • You are absolutely correct! I’ve seen some of the other kids try harder and really go after it.

      I’m happy for my son now that he has to step up and become a better player! He even said that he enjoys it more now too.

  4. That’s the role of a good coach and mentor, to make sure that *all* players, especially the middle ones, get properly challenged to improve.
    I distinctly remember my younger son’s first goal, a nice looping shot from way outside the penalty area, laces on, right under the crossbar. I couldn’t stop hootin’ and hollerin’.

    • Good point about coaches! My son has only had coaches that didn’t know what they were doing.

      My son now has a coach that tries and learns, so the team is doing a lot better.

  5. I was just talking about this yesterday believe it or not. Superstar players tend to hold a team back in my opinion, much of the reason is because of the coaching. I have seen it in just about every sport too. The less experienced kid just dishes the ball to the star because they don’t trust themselves.

    Congrats to your son, what a fun moment!

    • I totally agree! Yeah, I was so proud and happy for him! Awesome memory and time!

      While I believe this post has a lot of value, I also wanted to record my son’s coomplishment.

  6. I am constantly working on improving myself. I think it is essential to our success. We live in a world where sadly we don’t always have someone to rely on so we need to make sure we have the tools and resources we need to survive and do well.

    I really like the analogy of your son’s soccer game to self improvement. It really drives the point home. Best of luck to your son’s team.

    • Thanks, the analogy was a side effect of the soccer story. I starting writing the 1st paragraph then I realize what had really happened, then tied it to continuous growth. 🙂

      Corny as this might sounds, I actually learn from my blog sometimes. It help me see things that I normally wouldn’t…

      I like to think that I’ve been improving continuously, and while that may be true, I definitely had some slow growth period. Now I’m scrabbling to make up for those slow periods.

  7. Inspiring Story!
    My son is playing soccer too (he’s only 6 thought). While we had a pretty strong team this summer, there was one very special game where I was very proud of “my kids” (I’m coaching).

    My team was losing 4-1 and they never quit. They kept playing until the very last minute and they finally won 8-5!

    I was happy to see them play as a team (as supposed to hope for their best player to make all the goals) and they never quit. I think that’s a great lesson for everybody!

    The “perfect” team will be a mix between one or two superstars that play with the team and not for their own stats. Since my son is pretty good at soccer for his age, I made him pass the ball more often and support the other player instead of just going through the goal and make more points.

  8. Interesting juxtaposition to your article about millionaires being singled out by Obama. I’m thinking about the millionaires as the ‘superstars’ – are the protesters trying to get out a message similar to this blog post? Would love to hear your thoughts.