On the first day of soccer practice, one of my little charges stubbornly sat on the sideline and wrote across her white T-shirt, with my sharpie:
Do Not Disterb
She’s seven years old, and I don’t mess with seven-year-olds who write Do Not Disterb across their fronts.
I let her be.
I’ve been thinking about the parallels between being an effective little-girls’ soccer coach, and an effective personal/professional coach for adults. I know there’s some really profound connection, but all I can think of is the soccer coach on the field next to mine.
This coach has a team of boys. He’s played a lot of soccer and clearly wants to teach these little boys what he knows. So he talks and talks. And the boys stand around and get in trouble.
I have no idea how to play soccer. I do know something about team sports and how to have fun on a sunny field. So that’s what we do: we learn how to be a team and how to have fun with a ball.
As your professional coach, I have no idea what you should do with your career and your life. I do know something about how to help you figure it out. So are you going to stand around and talk and talk about rules and strategies, or are you going to start running on that sunny field?
By the end of the season, my little “Do Not Disterb” girl was out there in the middle of the game with her team, going after that ball.