Lessons from Sixth Grade Soccer

The opposition player intercepts the ball and launches through the gap towards our goal. Screens of “get back there” are heard from the side line as one of our team sprints his little heart out to try and be between the ball and the goal.

His opponent strikes the ball hard, it ricochets off the post, bounces off our player, and scores an own goal.

One of our team steps up and calls his team made an “idiot” for scoring an own goal and I intercede and explain that he had run hard and it was unlucky.

Later I thought about the parallels to other teams.

I thought about how sometimes we can do all the right things, but just be unlucky.

I thought about how often we can get down on someone for a mistake, when it was unintentional and they are just trying their hardest to win.

I thought about how often the people who complain the most, are the ones who left their team member to do it alone. Had they helped the outcome could have been all together different.

I thought about how sixth grade soccer is radically different to competition in the real world. And yet soccer, along with other sports, is where most of us learnt to be in teams.