Effort over Outcome

We live in protectionist times. As young players (and people), we aren’t armed with the skill-set to process losing for many reasons. One, we associate losing with failure. Second, losing has consequences (coaches, pay attention) associated with it that extend into ‘punishment’ (extra running, lack of playing time, lengthly lectures, finger-pointing, ostracizing, etc.). Third, soccer […]

Chaos Theory

Circus Time We’ve all seen it…players arriving a bit early to training congregate as they tie their fluorescent-colored boots. A few fire-off a Snapchat while off in the distance near the penalty area, there’s a group of players smashing pot-shots in the direction of empty goal rarely hitting the target. The routine continues. Light-hearted conversation is […]

Exercise of the Discipline

Discipline — it’s like a muscle. At least, that’s how I want you to think about it from here on out. Discipline is both a skill and a methodology. Those who subscribe to the notion(s) of self-discipline tend to fine-tune their processes en route to reaching their goals. Let me take the discussion away from […]

Coach Ability vs. Coach-ability

This post is a look at the college soccer experience and reflects the graft and grind required to persevere and learn a few things along the way — more life lessons than anything related to soccer. This recollection does not reflect anyone’s views but my own. I write about the college soccer experience as this […]

Flip the Script 

“Everyone has a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth.”  -Mike Tyson Think about what that means and ask yourself how many times you’ve been punched in the mouth and left to pick your teeth up off the pavement. Take that as literally or figuratively as you want — that’s the tone of this […]

Whatever It Takes

“You want to play on a real team? A team of real players who need real competition?” The questions were rapid fire. I tried not to think too hard as I wiped my brow after an indoor game at a place in Palatine, Illinois called Soccer City. “Yeah, I think so,” I said. A man […]

The Culture Wars of American Soccer

If you’ve played, coached, or watched soccer at any level in the United States and Canada then you’ve seen the worst pregame warm-up activity imaginable — the shooting line. The activity itself is a microcosm of the pedestrian misappropriation of the world’s game. Youth team coaches are guilty of allowing all of the players regardless […]

The Disconnect of the [North] American Game

[North] American soccer is an anomaly in the most peculiar ways. For a country that has yet to produce a single world class player, it sure expects to produce world class soccer. Why? Americans, especially those involved or invested in soccer, are guilty of coveting the result without respecting the process. Translation: People actually think […]

It’s Not About the Shoes

“It’s 15 degrees outside and it’s snowing, you know that right?” I nod and continue fishing through my closet for cold weather gear before telling my wife I’d be back in a few hours. “Have fun!” she says with a sarcastic tone that suggests she’s convinced herself that her husband is insane — and I […]

The Importance of Sacrifice

After a recent men’s league game I overheard a young man (probably in the 14-16 age range) tell a buddy, “I can’t believe my parents are late to pick me up! Seriously, what the hell is wrong with just being on time?” The buddy, who was also waiting said, “Who cares? They’ll be here. Let’s go back […]