I coach soccer, but I am by no means a soccer coach. For the better part of over four years, I have called parents, held practices, filled out line up cards and traveled to games. Heck, my voice is even several octaves lower due to constant yelling and re-yelling of “we are on the same team” or “we are going the other way”. All this aside, I am not a soccer coach, but man I love coaching soccer.
I didn’t even grow up playing organized soccer. The closet I got to any sort of formal training in the finer points of the beautiful game is that I may have watch soccer on tv once or twice, that is when other sports weren’t on.
I have been frustrated, lost years of my life due to anxieties, and maybe even embarrassed myself asking the ref questions about rules. The thought of the saying “the blind leading the blind” is not lost on my leading a pack of young kids down this journey of soccerdom.
And then I saw it, or maybe I should say I saw him. The man that would lead me out of this great journey through the desert of soccer.
A show about a college football coach that was hired to coach professional soccer in Richmond, England. A show about a fish out of water, a man over is head, but more importantly, a man that believes in the task out hand.
I am Ted Lasso, and he is me.
You see, the show is more than about soccer, just as my coaching is more about winning. Heck, some of my boys still kick the ball with their toes, and you know what, that is fine, perfectly fine. They are trying. The goal is the get the ball in the net, by any means necessary.
It is a show about family, the kind you find in life, not so much the kind you are born with. The people that you come together with, to share life’s ups and downs. Your tribe if you will, your team.
He even has a homemade sign in the locker room that simply says BELIEVE. It really is that simple.
If the last couple of years has taught us anything, it is that life gets hard. It gets messy. Sometimes you can clean the thing up, and sometimes you just have to leave it there. But in the end, you have to believe in the cause, you have to believe in the work. You simply have to believe.
I have always hated the term that you shouldn’t give people second chances. Or third or even forth chances. If I didn’t believe in giving people as many chances as they need to get things right, then my kid would never have walked, or the kids on my team would probably have been kicked off ten times already.
I give my tribe as many chances as they need, because they extend the same to me. This is how we move forward, this is how we love each other.
The world is crazy. This big old dirty rock spins pretty slow most days, but sometimes it spins fast enough to knock us off our feet. We are doing the best we can, believe it or not, most people are simply trying to stay on their feet the very best they can.
Hold their hand, let them hold yours. We all need help with balance from time to time.
My kid messes up enough times in one day that I should pack him a suitcase and ship him off to grandmas house to live. But I don’t. Because I love him and I believe in him, and I now that the only way to help him is to stand next to him while he falls, let him try to get up on his own, and help him if he needs it.
Kind of like with people don’t you think? Don’t we all just need to help each other up from time to time, because well, we have all been knocked down ourselves. Oh, it’s hard I know, we can feel a little tired from doing it. But isn’t that what we are here for, ain’t that what the good Lord does for us all the time, so shouldn’t we reciprocate the gesture?
I coach soccer to a bunch of kids that try hard, and yes, they get the wiggles and they don’t always listen. But I don’t want to coach a perfect team. Perfect is not real, nor is it fun.
I like my rag tag group of kids that cause me sleepless nights. I love my crazy group of friends that sometimes are human beings and not always perfect.
Be careful of the life you wish for, because when you want the perfect life, you don’t always get the perfect people to live it with. You don’t want a clean relationship with people, you want people who know how to clean.
Life is hard, love is even harder. But at end of my days, I would rather smile at the memories of the tears I shed in the name of love, rather than cry at the thought of the smiles I missed.
Work hard, love hard, forgive the ones you love, because I’ll be damned if they probably haven’t forgiven you a million times.
Time moves too fast to worry about the mistakes of those who are trying to not make them, love the hell out of people that just want to play the game, that just want to be in the game with you.
Love the wild ones, even if they still kick the ball with their toes. We are all on the same team trying to score a goal.