Mental toughness is a learned process in which an individual learns to overcome adversity, stand up against the opposition, and the build the belief they can rise to the challenge of achieving their goals.
Coaches create lifelong memories. Our kids today are playing games they will remember for the rest of their lives, and I hope that when it comes to my son he is able to remember the games he gave everything, when he tried new things that came off, and that the score doesn't take away the feeling of achievement if it's a game the team lost.
It takes a relentless and ruthless mentality to be successful, the kind of mindset that takes teams like Stevenage F.C. from being almost relegated from the Conference in 2004 to being in League One seven years later. And to go on record - I love Marmite
In sport, a "us vs them" mentality is an amazing way to fire up your team and create confidence that everyone is fighting for the same cause. It's a basic social identity concept, it works well in sport. In society, too much of it is, well, how we end up with the division we are seeing now.
The world is a very divided, and divisive place. Don't be distracted, keep your focus on your goals and seek to achieve great things. If people are able to hate Mother Teresa, the rest of us are guaranteed to pick up a nemesis along the way, don't let them steal your vision.
Focusing on results will only take you so far. Focusing on the things that get you results will take a little longer, but the behaviours will also last longer.
We have choices when we develop people, whether it is kids, soccer players, team members, employees, or anyone. We can give them the goals and the tools and guide their process or we can tell them how to complete the job. One of these is development and growth, the other is obedience to a system.
If we stick to formulas and what has been done before we will only see the results we have seen before. If we allow room for creativity, accept mistakes, and learn from the moments that didn't go well we will create an environment of growth, and that is how success becomes part of the DNA.
This week we'll look at the traits of the successful empire builders, and the traits of the less successful. It may sound obvious, but the biggest key to success - whether you are coaching a High School team or one of the biggest clubs in the world, know your people.
I have learned that being a youth soccer coach is much, much more than coaching soccer. Life is a series of moments and decisions, make them count, make the next moment better than this one.