As anyone who’s grown up playing soccer knows, there are plenty of lessons to be learned while playing this great sport, from game day to practice to nighttime scrimmages. Today, we’re reflecting on a few of them.
You can’t do it all alone.
For those who love to have control of everything—and live by the mantra, “If you want something done right you’d better do it yourself”—soccer can be a real eye opener. Through playing this game, countless players have learned that no one player can possibly carry a team to victory and put their team’s success (or failure) on their shoulders. Players learn from an early age to rely on their teammates and share responsibilities with their fellow players—because there’s really no other way to play or win!
No one is ever completely responsible.
Just like no one person can take on the entire team’s jobs, no one player can be held responsible for the entire team’s success or, sometimes, failure. If you happen to be a keeper, knowing that the goal you “let in” wasn’t just your fault can make life’s failures more bearable. On the other hand, knowing that the goal you made was the result of your hard work and the rest of the team’s can add an important dose of humility to your everyday life. You know that, for better or worse, you are just one part of a multifunctional system—both on and off the field.
Endurance is everything.
On the soccer field, being able to keep up with a fast-paced and constantly changing game is essential. The ball may be on your side one second and your opponent’s the next, and you are expected to keep up with the fluctuating game (while still running and performing at your highest level). This is why soccer players and other athletes put so much time and effort into building endurance.
The same is true off the field. Without the trait of endurance, no one would be able to “keep up” with constant work commitments, personal challenges and other events. But when soccer players apply the concept of endurance to their everyday life, they see just how positive and affecting this trait can be.
Don’t try to tackle everything at once.
Not even the world’s greatest soccer player can simultaneously defend his goal, make a goal against the opposing team, and fend off fast midfielders during a game—though they may try! Soccer players learn early on the importance of sharing responsibilities and assessing a situation to see where they are most needed (and most able to do something). They know that they can’t juggle three different tasks at once while still playing their best. Off the soccer field, they know that it’s just as important to balance personal and work commitments and keep a clear, level head when it comes to tackling new projects.
Everyone makes mistakes.
While it may sound a bit cliché, this is truly one of the biggest (and most valuable) lessons soccer players carry with them off the field. When some of the world’s greatest players make mistakes, they know that their faults aren’t necessarily the result of poor skills or a lack of experience. They know that mistakes