Dec. 30, 2021

20 Memorable Moments from 2021

20 Memorable Moments from 2021

In Episode 62, we are capping off 2021 and ringing in 2022 with 20 great leadership lessons (plus a couple bonus nuggets) from our interviews over the past year. There is so much more wisdom in the full interviews, which you can listen to at the links...

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In Episode 62, we are capping off 2021 and ringing in 2022 with 20 great leadership lessons (plus a couple bonus nuggets) from our interviews over the past year. There is so much more wisdom in the full interviews, which you can listen to at the links below or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Also, if you want to go deeper in 2022 as a leader and coach, we are launching Coaching the Bigger Game course and mastermind in early February. You can click here to learn more about the program, which has limited capacity.

And if you are in the Waco, TX area and want to get involved with The Warrior Way, click here for more information.

What are your favorite HSEL moments from 2021? Drop an email to Phil ( or post on the HSEL Facebook Group to let us know.

Links to HSEL Episodes Mentioned   

Other Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode


Phil: Welcome back to the How Soccer Explains Leadership Podcast. Paul Jobson and I are so grateful for you as we finish up 2021. We just wanted to do an episode for you that basically takes all of our episodes and we picked out 20 leadership lessons that we wanted to share with you, just some short snippets from these amazing interviews that we were able to do over the course of 2021.

The first one we have is from one of my favorite interviews of 2021. A lesson from Cori Close, an incredible basketball coach at UCLA, about what really lasts from our leadership.

[00:00:37] Cori: He said, "banners hang in in gyms and rings collect dust, but what will stay with you for the rest of your life from these four years and this experience is who you become and who you impact." And that's really stuck with me. And on my fourth day on the job, when I got to UCLA, one of Coach Wooden's alums, who I had not met before, but John Vallely, he walks into my office and they say, Hey, you gotta meet with the [00:01:00] Dribble for the Cure guy.

And I was like, okay, you know, I'm overwhelmed. I don't know what I'm doing. And he sits down across from me. And he just launches in and he said I've been married 38 years because of the what Coach Wooden taught me, I've started three successful businesses because of what Coach Wooden taught me. I've conquered cancer three times because of the strength Coach Wooden gave me.

And then he really got me. He said, I've survived the death of my 12 year old daughter because of the way Coach Wooden loved me. And I just was sitting there with my mouth open, just like tears in my eyes. And then he pretty much went on to say, Hey, welcome to the family. And uh, glad you're here.

And I'll see you at Dribble for the Cure. And he walked out and then I ran over to my computer and I looked him up and he didn't even mention that he was a starting guard on two of Coach Wooden's National Championship teams. And he played seven years in the NBA because it paled in comparison to the man he became.

And I just thought, that's it. Right? That's it. Who they become and who they impact that will stay with them forever. [00:02:00] The, he didn't even mention the banners that he raised. He didn't even mention the years in the NBA because his heart changed his character growth and how it formulated, who he became as a man was so much deeper and so much more important.

And so that really, that's the story of my why that's the vivid example of how many John Vallely stories can we create and how many people can we have come back in 10 years, 20 years and be like, Oh my gosh, who I've become and who I, who I'm able to impact, um, has really brought me to where I am today and how many of those stories can we create and narratives, can we help facilitate?

And now, now we're doing something that's gonna last.

[00:02:42] Phil: That was a great clip from Coach Close about what really matters. And that can be found in episode 28 If you want to get the full interviews, we'll have the links to all those episodes in the show notes for this show. this next lesson. Lesson number two comes from Diego Bocanegra. [00:03:00] Diego is coaching women's soccer out at the university of Houston. This is from episode 43, where Diego weighs in on why it's important for our kids to play multiple sports and just play for fun. Something we talk a lot about on this show, the ills of specialization in one sport.

[00:03:19] Diego: I think it comes down to if you treat these kids like pros, or if you're trying to live vicariously through them, you're taking the joy and the excitement away. We played all the sports, not just organized, but in the street, times are different now.

And you know, we didn't have phones back then. You knew where everybody was because you saw a pile of bikes in the front yard and it's like, all right, let's go over there. That's where they're playing.

And it didn't matter if it was street soccer. If it was touch football, if it was wiffle ball, baseball, tag, it really didn't matter. We played everything. And we didn't do it because we had to, we do it because we [00:04:00] did it because we loved it. And I think there's so many areas with this, but just getting back to the, development part of it. I was a better soccer player because I played flag football and then tackle football when I was in high school. Well, guess what? I had to learn how to use my body. I'm not a big guy. You can see that. I had to be quicker, smarter than people. So the same footwork that I used as a defensive back was the same defensive footwork that I had to use as the point guard defending somebody else on the basketball court, was the same footwork that I have to use in one V one situations there, you know, I could run up and down the basketball court all day long.

I came from the time when, you know, when I was a kid the UNLV Runnin' Rebels and Larry Johnson and, and that whole crew and Tarkanian. I loved it. It was high pressure. You know, some of the Rick Pitino's Kentucky teams. It was full court, press the entire game. Well, that was great. I was a soccer player.

I didn't get tired of that. Basketball [00:05:00] court is tiny compared to a soccer field. So you put some of us out there and we're going to go out and we're going to be in your face the entire time. I'm not even breaking a sweat. Right. So it was fantastic. I learned how to judge the flight of a ball. When you're the shortest guy on the court, you learn how the ball is going to come off the rim, or you're never going to get a rebound.

When you're playing defensive back or wide receiver. You're learning to judge the fight of a football over long distances and catch the ball. When you're playing baseball, you learn the flight of the ball. And so I won a lot of headers that I had no business doing. Because my timing, my angles, all that stuff was just better from all these other sports.

[00:05:37] Phil: All right. Glenn Crooks is our provider of lesson number three, and this comes from episode 23. Glenn, who is the announcer for N Y C F C and he was the former coach at Rutgers university. He shares with us, similar to Diego was talking about, the importance of learning from other disciplines.[00:06:00]

[00:06:00] Glenn: On the topic of listening to people from different walks of life. So I really had, a cool experience for me, both as a coach at a broadcaster, I had 45 minutes with Greg Berhalter one-on-one and. I thought the most interesting thing he said out of the interview, you know, we talked about everything, you had dual nationals, all the different things that are, uh, you know, that he's partaking with and on, you know, this congested schedule you, so those things are certainly a, you know, Tyler Adams, Western McKinney, Christian Pulisic.

But, the most interesting thing he said is that he's currently involved being involved in sessions with the Cleveland Indians and it's on leadership. And he said, you know, it's an organization that's trying to get better all the time. He said, it's really fascinating. And I, I don't remember exactly how he stumbled on it, but here he is like every Monday night or whatever it is once a week, on with the staff of the Cleveland Indians with, the, you know, someone in the, in, in a leadership realm, Jose Mourinho did a one-on-one [00:07:00] recently with this guy, Joe Cummings, former, um, President of the United Soccer Coaches, which is the largest coaches association in the world.

And Mourinho you know, he, uh, at one point he goes, yeah, people might know this might not know this, but I'm a huge Formula One fan. And he said, and the reason he brought it up is because he and his assistants, he invited a formula. He just said a big guy, a big guy in Formula One, and his team, he invited them into his office with his staff so that they could go over how they operated as a team Formula One.

So, uh, you know, they're people aren't successful by accident. You know, it's like, uh, an and it's this. And I think, you know, Mourinho, we have this, uh, I think we have this picture of him that, you know, he probably wouldn't listen to anybody, you know, but, uh, it's not the case. He brings in his, this Formula One driver and his team to talk about how they operate and how he's going to incorporate some of the things he [00:08:00] learned from them into his own program.

So he's still learning every day, too.

[00:08:04] Phil: Glenn, thank you so much for that reminder that we need to continually be learning leaders are learners, and if we're not learning, we're dying.

That's just something that is a great lesson for everyone to be learning from people inside and outside of your discipline. All right. Our next lesson number four. It's Jesse Bradley. Who's a pastor up in Seattle and he also played pro soccer in Scotland in Zimbabwe. After his time at Dartmouth, he gives us a great life and leadership reminder in this clip from episode 53.

[00:08:36] Jesse: I think it's so important for athletes to know that who you are is more important than what you do and in sports. So often you're graded even the social approval, you know, the likes, it all comes in based on how well did you play. And what position do you have on the team? How many points your stats and even self worth can be tied to that.

And self-worth tied to performance is a trap. It's a [00:09:00] performance trap because if you play well, it can lead to pride. If you don't play well, it can lead to shame. Neither are a good spot to end up in where human beings, we're not human doings. And you know, that was a major shift for me. It might sound really basic and you kind of summarize it.

You know quickly, but, uh, I'll tell you for me, when my career ended, I was wrestling with who am I and, and for a lot of people, their sense of worth and peace are linked to what they're doing and how well they're doing.

[00:09:28] Phil: So important for us to remember identity and our identity formation and that we are not what we do. We are so much more than that. Thank you, Jesse, for that reminder. All right. Our next lesson, number five, comes from Episode 11. It was Mark Pease. He is also a pastor he's out in Leeds, England. He is a lifelong Leeds supporter in addition to being a pastor.

And he had a great conversation with us about Marco Bielsa and his leadership in his culture building at Leeds United. And this [00:10:00] clip talks about how BLC has built a culture at Leeds United through service, humility, and simply being true to himself.

[00:10:09] Mark: I think he exudes humility. There's a tension really on the one hand, he's all of those things. But on the other hand, he's a very private person. I suppose he's an introvert, really, if I was from the outside looking in, but somehow what he's done, he has portrayed himself in a way that people are bought into him. They love the way that he carries himself. He certainly doesn't call himself the special one. Although a lot of what he does is very, very special. you listen to him being interviewed. It's always about the players.

It's always about the club. In fact, One of the things, the first thing he did, and I think this won the hearts and minds of the people, cause it was different with our squad, one of the first days of training, they're all expecting to kick a ball around and try and impress the coach.

He put all the footballs away and he got them walking, not just around the training ground, but around the small town where the training [00:11:00] ground He's got em walking around for four hours. picking up litter, picking up trash. And and at the end, the end, the players were all thinking, these are highly paid, superstar want to be players.

And at the end of it, he said, I just wanted you to remember what it's like to be somebody out there while you're living their dream, who go to work for 40, 50 hours a week and spends maybe the little money that they have, their hard earned resources on paying to come and watch you perform. And things like that suddenly just endeared him to the to the public endeared him to the players because I think it took a lot of them by surprise, but they respected what he did.

And I don't know of any other culture. I've certainly not heard or read about one. Who's done something like that. Because the sadly, particularly in, when it comes to superstardom and that the tendency is to particularly in a world of player power is to ponder to the, every whim and every [00:12:00] request of the superstar.

And yet this was different. I think from that moment that started to forge something unique in the team, in the organization, something different that we never seen before. And it's funny how you can always kind of trace things back to a starting point. And as a result of that, yeah, I think because of those things, he really has endeared himself.

He, like you say, you see him walking around the city, you'll often see him riding a public bus. A man who is very well recompensed, but gets public bus. No, it lives in a tiny little apartment above a little little shop. No airs, no graces. And I think certainly for Leeds as a city, I think he saw something in us that reflected some of the things that he stands for. And I also think as well, but you look at his managerial history, his coaching history, he has coached at some big clubs, but he's never really coached at the, he's never going to be a Real Madrid manager. Right. Because there's something about that that doesn't fit with.[00:13:00]

I think he knows his lane. I think he knows what he wants to build and where we can and where he can't build that. And, and again, I suppose that that's a very important lesson, isn't it about? We can't be all things to all men, as much as we'd like to, there are lanes for us all, and I think he's very good at picking his.

[00:13:15] Phil: Thank you, mark, for that reminder, that servant leadership and humility and being true to ourselves is so critical to our leadership. If we're faking it, most likely the people that we're leading will know that. And if we think we're bigger than everybody else and the people we're leading, we'll think so too.

So let's be servant leaders as we go through this coming in at number six is truly a servant leader. This is a man that I've come to respect greatly. He's an author. He wrote the coaching zone. He also was a lacrosse coach for many years, a great lacrosse player as well. John Yeager, in this clip from episode 30 shares one of the best sports stories I've heard in recent years.

And it also has some great leadership lessons in it too.

[00:13:54] John: I got there and I was really excited about the season coming up. The coach of the other team was on the [00:14:00] All-American selection committee for division three. I'm saying, well, maybe, maybe I got an opportunity here. And so I got out there and I was a lacrosse goalie. Some people will call us courageous, and some people will call a stupid. I got out there and I played absolutely awful, terrible. So bad that I wished the coach could have taken me out of the game, but my backup goalies really weren't ready for prime time.

And so I stayed in there and sucked it up. And so for the next two days after that, I grieved couldn't go to class, you know, and just because I, I, that was my identity at that time. And I had failed. Was I an imposter? Well, two days after that game, we were playing Middlebury College at home and maybe there was a little bit of redemption.

So we got over to the field and Middlebury players, you know, we're a bunch of hippies with all this long hair. In fact, Ronnie Enjemi, one of our players on the team shaved half his beard off before the game to pump us up. So that tells a little bit about where our mentality might've been at that time.[00:15:00]

So, the rest of the other team Middlebury was really, really clean cut players. Their head coach was a big guy. Rob Pfeiffer looked like he had a high and tight haircut and just was kind of barking out instructions. And I said, okay, I'm going to be optimistic. This game's going to go well, jumped in the goal.

First two shots, go in on me one over my shoulder, went through my legs, good shots, but saying like, Hmm, I haven't stopped the thing yet. I am the imposter. Well for us, fortunately, when Middlebury got the ball again, they took a shot and I made a really good save, and it was just, I just reacted to it, made it cleared the ball down there.

We scored on it. Then we scored the second shot of a goal, a game. And then I just made the next 30 saves and we win the game six to two and the best game I ever played in my life bar, none. But that's not why I tell the story. That was more a performance, but the relational piece to this Happened in the second period when Pfeiffer asked for time out for the officials and [00:16:00] the, you know, called T said, timeout, Middlebury.

And so the officials gave the timeout. We dutifully ran to our bench and the Middlebury players ran to their bench. Remember Ronnie, he ran to their bench and we're saying, Oh, there really is something wrong with Ronnie beyond the beard. Okay. And we go, what are you doing there? Ronnie, with our Boston accents.

He jumps goes through the huddle and the Middlebury players are saying, you know, this is forbidden you don't do this. He jumps on the back of the coach of the other team coach turns around shocked. Ronnie. He takes his arms off the coach. Takes his helmet off half a beard. They look up at each other and they both begin to smile and they both begin to tear up and they embrace each other.

And we're on the Bo State bench. We're saying what's going on here? Well, the backstory, when Ronnie heard the voice the last time he had heard it, actually heard that voice with the intonation and inflection of Pfeiffer was six years [00:17:00] before in the jungles of Vietnam, because Pfeiffer was his platoon commander there.

Wow. Everything just stood still. Longest timeout, best timeout of all time. And that happened to a month 45 years ago. Wow. And I still remember that moment as if it was yesterday. I'm actually became friends with a variety of players on the other team, Middlebury team, because of that, because the power of not this, the competition about the collaboration and the connection that you need, both of them to actually make that sports experience work.

And those two experiences really helped to form me in the work that I did as an athlete, but also as a coach of coaches down the road.

[00:17:44] Phil: Man, that is such a great story. as I said, in that interview, we could end it right here and it'd be all worth it, but we have so much more goodness to come and I'm excited for it. The next lesson we have is number seven from Tracy Hamm. In Episode 51, [00:18:00] Tracy, the women's soccer coach at UC Davis talks about the importance of surrounding ourselves with others who compliment our personality, style and strengths.

[00:18:08] Tracy: That's, the benefit of being a head coach and putting your staff together as like, I know my, I know I'm scary.

Like I am, and I don't want to be, but I just know that I am like, that's my. I'm aware self-aware that there's girls on my team that are scared of me, because they can't match my intensity or, they're worried what I'm looking for. So you move in, you hire your staff, you're looking at what PA what personalities are going to compliment mine.

What's their style. we need to have someone that's gonna, coach with humor and, kind of be dry and sarcastic. And then we need someone that's just like joyful big energy. So I think. For me, it's putting together the right staff, but yeah, it's, it's just it's humans, right? Like we, we relate to, and we identify with people that we're most comfortable with and I try it on my staff to create a giant spectrum of approachability.

There's someone for everybody, you know, and that was my goal.

[00:18:57] Phil: All right. Number eight, got [00:19:00] Toriono Davis from episode 16. Toriono who is a pro scout and doing a lot of other things that he talks about in that interview. Toriono continues the discussion of personality styles and how we can avoid unnecessary conflict by understanding the differences between task focused and people focused people.

[00:19:33] Toriono: A person that is people oriented. they really are in tune with sympathy. They understand different things that might be said or perceived. And they're amazing at this whereas task that person they're going to be able to energize things in such a manner where results are going to happen. Now, there may be a pile of bodies, at the end of the exercise, but they will get things done.

So what that task person [00:20:00] has to understand is that sometimes a good morning hello, proper greeting of the day, taking five seconds to listen and then going into the checklist of items that we need to do is very effective for the individual that is very focused on people. And what the people person may be to understand is that when they're talking with a person that values tasks, where they're doing a collaboration, they need to give that agenda, get to the result.

that person doesn't really care about the weather the day. They're like, no, give me this stuff, let's get this done. can you get out of my way now? You know? So, so not have your feelings hurt if, but yeah. It's amazing how those two clash, because they can be blind spots for each other.

[00:20:37] Phil: Thanks, Toriono, for those good words. All right. Number nine, we have Michelle Lenard from episode 15. Michelle is the new, very new women's head coach of Baylor university's women's soccer program. She's taken over for our very own Paul Jobson and she was the Dallas Baptist university head coach at the time of this [00:21:00] interview. And her response to my question about the one thing she wants her players to remember after playing for her. Michelle builds on Toriono's conversation about personality styles, and reminds us about the importance of compassion in our leadership and other areas of our lives.

[00:21:15] Michelle: First and foremost, I'd say compassion. Leading is about being able to recognize everybody's coming from a different place and everybody's got different things going on in their life.

And compassion is really important. we want to have high standards and we want to hold our players to those standards. And I know when I was an athlete, I was driven and motivated and ambitious, and I wanted everybody to be like that. But when I became a coach, I realized not everybody is the same as me, but that's okay.

And compassion allows us to recognize that our teammates might not have the exact same motives or live their life exactly the same way, but that recognizing that there's maybe reasons for that and seeing their value despite that, even if they are different than us and being able to recognize, especially when someone's struggling.

And not give them a free pass because there are certain [00:22:00] expectations and standards you have to meet if you're part of a team, no matter what. But recognizing that sometimes the things that are going wrong in someone's life is because of other things that are outside of their control and that they're just learning how to manage.

[00:22:10] Phil: That is such a great reminder from Michelle. And now we get to move on. We're almost halfway there. We have number 10, Kassie gray, who is the founder director of female footballers. She also played a college ball at Cal. Kassie, in Episode 56, kicks off the mental health portion of our leadership lessons from 2021

[00:22:31] Kassie: as life evolves, you have to evolve with it. If you're the coach that is still thinking that, you know, this is my team and all these players need to relate back to me and how I coached the team. I'm like, that's unrealistic. And I've, I tell coaches a lot when we do different trainings and clinics and stuff that if you don't think that coaching, the mental side of the game is part of your job, then you're, you're not going to be that successful.

It is a hundred percent part of your job, whether you like it or not. And unfortunately, a lot of coaches pushed back on that and they're like, well, [00:23:00] I don't have time for that. Well then good luck. Your team is not going to be successful because the mental side is a part of the culture of your team. And the culture is what dictates your win and loss record.

I don't care how technically savvy your players are. You're not going to do well. And I think the athletes at the top level, in any sport, we're seeing it doesn't matter if you're Simone Biles and you're the best of the world. If your mentality and your mental state, isn't there, you're not going to succeed.

[00:23:25] Phil: Thank you Kassie for that great reminder that we absolutely need to take to our leadership. Okay. At number 11, we have Brad Miller who is with soccer resilience. He's one of the founders there, some great folks that are doing great work. He's also a sports psychologist who played at. Wake forest university and Brad keeps the conversation going about mental health in episode 19, that shared a critical lesson about the power of the brain and its negative bias and what we can do about it.

[00:23:56] Brad: Our brains are wired to keep us alive. [00:24:00] That's their number one job. And if your brain sucks at job, number one, it doesn't matter if it's a great, a job number two and three and 10 or whatever it's gonna be.

You're not gonna be around to see it. So the brain has to be able to keep us safe. So as a result, it has this really, really strong alarm, very sensitive alarm, where it goes off a lot of times unnecessarily and our web brain's wired to really keep us from physical threats of danger. The problem is our brain gets its wires mixed up.

And it also worries about feeling disappointed or scared or sad or embarrassed. And it sees those things as equally dangerous. So our brain views making a mistake, having an own goal is equally dangerous as rattlesnakes on the field. Clearly they're different, but to the brain, they feel the same. And that's why we can have these false alarms.

So when you understand how the brain works and the brain has a negative bias, you know, on the average day, the average person. 80% of our thoughts are negative 80%. Imagine what that looks like, Phil, when we're having a stressful day, right? It's going to be bigger. So our [00:25:00] brain is just throwing at us all, but a lot of negative things about what's not right now.

What's not good about it. And what could go wrong way more than what is going well and what could go well in the future. And our brain is wired to detect the danger now, but what could go wrong in the future? That's why, when somebody makes a higher level team or gets the start. They're happy sometimes for about five or 10 seconds.

And they get a feeling their brain goes into threat mode because the brain is like, wait a minute, if you just got to start, if you just made this team or you just got a job or it may be, then you can not do well. And then you'd feel really disappointed because you're getting the thing you want. Oh God, that's horrible.

Let's just not do it. The brain's number one solution. Avoid. And how does it get us to avoid it makes us so uncomfortable. It wants to talk us out of it, right? If you know, it's like the thing that the last time any of us got sick, we had the stomach flu, whatever you ate. In my case, it was vegetable lasagna from Costco.

And I literally, even to this day just saying it, I still feel kind of like, ah, right. Cause our brains wired to protect us from [00:26:00] danger. Well, it does it the same with the emotional things. So when we make a mistake on the field, our brains like, Oh yeah, you're not playing that position. You're not taking the ball again.

And now we shy away from the ball. We don't want the ball. We get rid of it as fast as we can because our brains having a false alarm. So when you tell this to players, they go, Oh, Yeah, the brain makes it harder sometimes, right? The brain makes it harder to perform. And it's what brains do. It's not a Brad issue or Phil issue. It's a brain issue now that we know that here's how you can help rewire your brain and change your brain so it can help you more.

And that is a huge message because most of us think we're defective when we struggle. Other people don't go through hardship and just knowing that's how the brain works. You kind of remove you from being the sort of defective to this is how my brain works and we need it to work that way, by the way, we want to be safe, but we can override some of those negative, false alarms and have ways to cope better.

So that's why it's so important to know it's how the brain functions, rather than just, you know, negative things. We might think I'm weak. I'm soft. I'm not strong enough. I'm not good enough. All those normal [00:27:00] negative thoughts that can pile in.

[00:27:01] Phil: Thank you, Brad, for those great words. Number 12, we have Paul Jobson's bride, Marci Jobson, who is, as you know, there's no debate about it, the best soccer player in that household. in episode 41, 1 of our off season talks last summer, Marci shared, a great lesson about mental toughness. It's something that they use in their Warrior Way camps that I'd mentioned at the beginning of this episode and she talks about how we can be mentally tough and lead our people to be mentally tough.

[00:27:36] Marci: This is one of my favorite pillars, but I also grew up in a, family of eight kids and my dad pushed us hard and I still remember a scar I have on my eye where I subbed out. My dad was a doctor. He sewed it up and he was like, get back in there.

And, and I don't think that that's, truly all mental toughness. I'm actually. Extremely fearful of a person. I think, you know that about me, Paul is that that [00:28:00] fear and anxiety can overtake me very quickly. And even as a player I was the way that I. Began to really see a personal relationship with Jesus is because I knew that I was actually a powered in a lot of ways and I was fearful and I didn't want to fail, but the ability to invite Christ into that moment and say, Lord, I'm scared, Jesus, I'm scared.

I need your help. And then to remember, oh yeah, but the Bible says, he is enough for me. His power is perfect where I am weak and I'll boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses because the power of Christ then rest within me. It, it started to, I saw that transformation from an individual being myself who is timid, afraid, and anxious, but the invitation to plug into Christ power and to let him take my soccer and to let him do it with me, really [00:29:00] transformed me into, I believe a player that could do hard things that had the mental toughness to overcome some really terrible injuries overcome sitting in the bench to overcome just different ups and downs in my career. And that was not because of me and, some great quality that I have.

That was purely because I was able to learn that has to make Jesus a huge part of my sport. and more than just a prayer, more than just a verse that I write on my hands, but that his spirit was alive and well inside of me. And he could make me a mental warrior. He could help me be an individual that could handle a lot of different things in my sport.

[00:29:38] Phil: Thank you, Marci. That was such a fun interview to be able to see Paul and Marci in different rooms of their house, doing that interview have if you haven't listened to it and watched it, I encourage you to do so. Go back and do that at episode 41. You can find the link to that in the show notes. Okay.

Number 13 is a very important clip. In our world today. This is [00:30:00] one of the biggest issues we're dealing with. this issue of racism. It's been something we've been dealing with for far too long in our world. Clyde Best, one of my friends, good friends. He is a legend from West Ham United, and he was one of my coaches when I was a kid.

And he himself experienced severe racial abuse against him in his playing days. His book is called the acid test because someone threatened to throw acid on him. As he entered into the stadium, through the tunnel to one of his first games as a 17 year old in England.

in episode 21, He shares his thoughts on how we can practically and effectively combat racism.

[00:30:37] Clyde: Well, I think, Phil, lots of times we have to talk about it. You just can't put it on the back burner. You gotta be open about it. You gotta be honest about it, you know? And, um, I think you've got to definitely sit down and discuss, what your dispute are. I mean, you have people in the world today that don't know one another [00:31:00] from Adam and Eve, but they don't like him now.

How can you just look at a person and not like him if you haven't had a conversation with him, that person that you don't like might be more educated than you, you know what I'm saying. So before you, Discriminate against someone find out what the person's all about, and you might find out in life that you learn to like the person because of their behavior, the way they carry themselves.

Because carrying yourself in a certain demeanor has a lot to do with life, and, I learned very early being a sports person. I didn't want to be a sports person that was out bragging about yourself, talking about yourself. Hey, you let your playing do the talking for you. And once you leave the field, you just walk off and go about your business.

now if you're going to let people in the crowd upset you, you're not going to be able to play. You gotta be strong. You got to let them people know that [00:32:00] you're here for a purpose and you're going to meet your goals and what you set out for yourself. And I knew at an early age that, Hey, it, wasn't only about me.

I want to help the young people coming. I mean, I tried to speak to as many of them as possible. And if by me speaking to them it's gonna help them. I will continue to do that because that's what life's all about. You know, I've had my turn, I'm going to see somebody else have their's and get to the mountaintop.

And the only way you do that, as I said, a lot of this hatred and prejudice, is to sit down face to face and discuss it and talk and have dialogue.

[00:32:41] Phil: Thank you, Clyde, that's such a powerful conversation. And I just, really appreciate Clyde and all that. He has brought to the game of soccer. Okay. Here's another man who has brought up. Deal to the game of soccer here in the United States and he continues to do so. Don Williams, he came to us in episode [00:33:00] 14.

Don is one of the recruiting gurus in our country and he works with sports recruiting USA. In this leadership lesson Don talked about the importance of treating people the way that you'd want to be treated, the importance of getting to know people.

He reminds us that we truly do live in a small world, and you never know who the person you're talking with is connected to.

[00:33:23] Don: one of the ones recently started me thinking about it because a buddy of mine who coaches, one of the top junior colleges in the country he's had deep conversations with Mark Kerkorian at Florida State and Anson Dorrance UNC chapel Hill and with Becky Burley at Florida, and about some of his players and he was talking to me about how players won't even bother. Oh, you go to a JC. I'm not even going to answer you, you know?

And it's like, Oh, if you only knew who he knew, if you only knew the doors that this guy could open up for you, if you went and performed for him. You have no idea. And I [00:34:00] was one of those guys in my last junior college diet. I had one of the few junior college players in the country, I think ever recruited the Florida state the year after they won their first national title. Out of junior college, there was sending kids to Penn state and UMass and Lipscomb and New Mexico state and Cal state Bakersfield and on and on.

And. It's like, well, it's not that I'm better at what I do than everybody. I've just been around a long time. And I know a lot of people and I am a very social person anyways. And so I'm not afraid to walk up to anybody in this country and go, hi, I'm Don Williams. I just want to tell you, I admire what you do.

And yeah, I've got time for a cup of coffee and, and to get to know that person a little bit. Right. And I think that what people need to understand is when we go for our licenses, we meet people. Then the guy, five years later, you find out he's at you know, my son's coach at St. Francis in Loretto, Pennsylvania, and everybody goes who, what, [00:35:00] where.

He went to Notre Dame after that and coached for Bobby Clark. Now he's at Oregon state, you know? So it's like, you don't know where people end up and you don't know what people do, and you have no idea who knows who, so please be kind, please be respectful. And I think that people understand that soccer is no different than everything else.

You get into an industry, you get into the lighting industry, you get into the heating industry, you get into whatever, and you get people that have been around 20, 30 years that are movers and shakers in the real estate industry or whatever it is. You'll find out that it's a small world and that somebody knows somebody.

So we should all probably treat each other as if we were talking to, the most connected person in whatever industry that we're in.

[00:35:45] Phil: Thank you Don for reminding us that it truly is a small world after all. I had to say it. Sorry folks. All right. At number 15, we have Lee Baker from episode 13. Lee is the owner of UScore [00:36:00] soccer and the director of legacy soccer club in Houston. And he talked about the leader's responsibility to provide perspective and a reality check.

[00:36:10] Lee: It's my job to give you some reality perspective. And then on the other side of the coin, it's to sit in a room of young players and say, Hey, I know that field out there is a little bit worn down after two months and not every blade of grass is where you want it to be but let's have perspective here. Let's take a look at some of these photos down in Haiti, and then, as soon as this pandemic ends, you come down there and gain a little bit more perspective on the joy of playing. On just the blessings that we have of being able to put on soccer cleats, new ones at that There's a different world out there. So I think having perspective as a leader, and again, being responsible to that and accepting that and not passing on. I think we can be a bit lazy at times or be a bit selfish at times. And, the reality is, who's been given much is required much.

So I think it's up to us as leaders, if we've had experiences in the game, if we've been blessed to play at certain [00:37:00] levels and coach at certain levels, that it's our job to educate these young parents with perspective. With the right perspective that there's a bigger thing going on.

[00:37:08] Phil: Thank you Lee, for those great words. If you listen to that episode, he also talks about the beloved Carrington training grounds with Manchester United. So it's a good moment in the show. At number 16, we have Max Rooke from episode 26.

in this leadership lesson, we get to hear about one of my favorite topics, the synergistic power of collaboration and teamwork. Max coaches at Pepperdine university, and he is leadership coach with Life to the Max.

[00:37:37] Max: Over the years, I think what I've really come to understand that I love about not just soccer, but I think team sports in general, when you talk about collaboration is, is that it allows us to do something that we typically wouldn't be able to do by ourself, And when, when you, and I've been victim of this, by the way, he's like, ah, do it all myself. You know, it's like, we just can't, we just [00:38:00] can't like this there's. So whether it's on the soccer field or where they're at, whether it's in life, in business, whatever is going to be like the ability to, to think bigger, broader, more expansive to believe in something bigger and better comes when you understand that when you put on the resources of everybody, then it allows you to think about things that you wouldn't normally be able to achieve by yourself. And so, you know, I look at it like, the responsibility of us as coaches, I think as a coach I think.

The responsibility. And I've heard Tim say this many times to my team is the responsibility of us as coaches is to take our players places that they wouldn't be willing to go by themselves. You know? And, and so when you bring it back to this idea of collaboration, I think when you collaborate with people, it allows you to go places you wouldn't normally be able to go by yourself. And so whether that's vision where again, whether it's application wherever it's going to be, but, that's truly what I love about being part of a team, whether that's been as a player, as a coach, whatever it's going to [00:39:00] be. I just think there really is something special about when you unite with people and you're all facing the same way, looking towards the same goal, the same vision, the same mission, as you said.

There's something really special in that.

[00:39:14] Phil: Thank you Max, for those great words, I always love talking about collaboration. It's something that if you have listened to, to any of these episodes, you know, that teamwork and collaboration are, my favorite things to talk about. So thank you max. We can't do it without each other. All right. Number 17 is Phil brown.

Phil is an experiential education trainer, which he basically has a cool job working on ropes courses and teaching people lessons from adventure. a little envious. I'm not gonna lie, but Phil brings us some more wisdom about the power of teamwork. And he shares specifically in episode 24, about the concept of a UBUNTU.

[00:39:54] Phil Brown: The great thing I think about soccer in terms of the difference between that and other [00:40:00] sports is there there doesn't necessarily have to be these individualized people on the team who create the, the winning structure of the team. It's, it's much more focused on a collective community.

And I think that that's something that in England, they also have in a big way as well is because that team is a part of the community in the community structured around the team that you do have that connection formed with the players and the staff to have the insignia of your team on your badge and say that you work for them, they work for you.

It has this kind of feel of symbioticness. I don't sometimes sense from teams in this country and other sports where it's more fan based idolization of people. It's more a community. Everyone on the same level. I think that where this leads into the work that I do, we also create team development products.

And one of the products we create is, a deck of cards called [00:41:00] Ubuntu, people can't see that, but it's sitting right behind me, but it's Ubuntu U-B-U-N-T-U and the essential phrase of it, what that means. It's part of the Bantu dialect in Africa. And it essentially breaks down to be. "I am because we are."

I am because we are, which then talks about that sense of community. It was coined very famously by Nelson Mandela and Desmond, Archbishop Desmond Tutu to talk about, around apartheid, about the community of South Africa, getting together to work together, to raise the bar of what was going on there. And that had to come from every component.

It's not an individual. It doesn't require an individual, requires all people. So we utilize this deck of cards, which you can find on our website, but there's a lot of activities that go with this, but we use that phrasing of a wound to, to represent that we're all part of the exact same team, no bigger than anyone else.

And I think that that's something that I know. In soccer teams, is that when let's [00:42:00] say a captain comes up and talks about the team or, or a coach comes up and talks about the team post game, they might highlight individuals, but really they're talking about the larger component of the team.

[00:42:10] Phil: thank you. Fill now. This is not only the part of the leadership lessons, where we have some great lessons, but we also have some really cool accents. And this next one is no exception to that. We have Rob Burns at number 18. And it just so happens. This is actually from episode 18 as well.

in this lesson, we move from the leader's responsibility to foster collaboration and teamwork, to the leader's responsibility to teach to their players, heads, hands, and heart. Here's what Rob burns director of Missional Links/Wales and former youth player at Wolves has to say about.

[00:42:46] Rob: I'm now reflecting on practice. And I'm thinking how to make players who are human beings into better human beings while they're playing. And I, and I came across this idea or began to think through this idea of, of what [00:43:00] it was that made us learn. I think we learn with our head, we learn with our hands and we learn with heart or more specifically, we learn with our head, we practice with our hands and we reflect with our heart.

I think we've all come across. Haven't we, uh, people who are super bad academics, my father was a super academic and they read and read, understand, and understand, learn, and learn and learn and learn. But sometimes when you put them into a practice situation where they have to actually play and go about the business, this is why you sometimes see great trainers.

And then you stick them onto the field and you realize, ah, They're practice day players. Some people can do the drills, but they can't transfer it into the game. Some people can learn where very well with books, but they can't put it into life. Well, of course that's not enough, but there are also people who are very good at doing it.

Better players, [00:44:00] who, who are surprising when they get on the field, they're terrible trainers. And then they just turn on when the games begin. But long term, they're going to lose their fitness because they're not doing it day by day. They're not doing the rudimentary things that is going to keep them in a long-term career.

And in whatever that might be, whether it's in the music business or in the creative arts or whether it's in, you know, church ministry, whatever it is, it's the learning with the head, call it training day. It's the practice with the hands actual game day. But also there's another element to it. And that is how did I do what I just did sometimes, you know, an instinctive player, you know, I saw a goal the other day where the big, big balls crossed it.

I mean, we took like a 40 yard ball across them and it goes over the top of the defender and the guy with his right foot, flex it over the top, back over the top of the defender and strikes it in with his right foot. I'd love to [00:45:00] stop him. Get him aside and say, how did you do that? I hope he'll be able to tell me, well, what I did is I positioned my body on the side on and I, when it came to my right foot, I just loosed off a little bit.

So it would just lob over his head a little bit. And then as it turned, I swiveled, then I struck it with the laces. But a lot it's people will say, I don't know how I did that. The problem with that is you'll never do it again. So, if you reflect, if you take some time to reflect, you can do it again. And not only can you do it again, you can teach somebody else to do it.

So we began to do that in Houston. We definitely did it in Dallas, helping players to understand what the drill was about, understand what the skill was about in their heads. Then put it into practice and then reflect on it so they could do it again. And if one day they became a coach, they could do it with somebody else.

We now do that on a big scale in terms of, teaching [00:46:00] leaders. So we've always got people in books. We were always giving classroom sessions. We were always looking at new theories, but we then say, and how can we now take that theory away, put it into practice, but then come back and reflect on it. So everybody learns to create multi-play leaders.

You have to learn with your head practice with your hands and reflect with your heart in an ever going cycle. That way you multiply yourself because you know what to do, you can do it and you can describe it to somebody else because you know what you did.

[00:46:36] Phil: All right. It's hard to follow that great lesson from Rob, but Renee Lopez does it as well as anyone in lesson 19 Renee coach college soccer for 17 years and was an NCAA compliance officer. And now she is a leadership trainer and author. In this lesson from episode 20, Renee continues our self-development section with the principle of Kaizen and how we as leaders [00:47:00] and those we lead ought to be continually improving every day.

[00:47:03] Renee: But the idea is we want to help others serve and we want them to serve each other. And I think if you take that across the board, whether it's soccer or you're working in a school or you're working in a business location, the fact is we are trying to help people get better.

And if you can have that mentality every single day, it's a simple principle that I've used with my teams for years. It's a principle called Kaizen. It's the idea of a Japanese business term actually at a mental training coach that worked with my teams for years, Tammy Matheny is phenomenal in working in our teams and she always taught us principle of Kaizen.

How do you get 1% better every day? And I think if we take that principle, whether we're on the soccer field and we're just trying to get better with our left foot and shooting or serving a ball, and then we also take that into the business world. Okay. Maybe you're trying to get the next client or you're trying to make the next sale, whatever it may be.

It's it all becomes, how do we get 1% better every single day on the soccer field. Maybe [00:48:00] get a couple more reps and take a couple more shots.

[00:48:02] Phil: All right. Thank you, Renee, for that great reminder. I love the concept of Kaizen and just getting 1% better every day. Such a great thing to remember.

All right. Last, but certainly not least. We have coming in at number twenties, Greg Rubendall, us soccer, grassroots soccer, educator, and director of soccer development for Livermore fusion soccer club. Greg continues our conversation on self-development. Here's a lesson he shared with us in episode 29, about deep practice and why we need to incorporate it into our coaching and leadership.

[00:48:34] Greg: There's practice there's training, but then the concept of deep practice, So where the individual is really immersed in the activity that they are a part of. And I think that, especially with the modern age that we live in, that's so fast paced that there's so many things going on in these young children and even coach's lives is that they become distracted while they're doing something.

They're doing it [00:49:00] at a 40% involvement or mental involvement rate. So when you talk about the need for fundamentals I think 10 out of 10 people, if you lined us all up and you said, okay, is that movement good or bad rank it one to 10?

I think 10 people would be around the same in terms of, yep. That looks like fluid, consistent movement. That looks like high performance. I would say maybe only one or two, maybe three out of those 10 could tell you what it was that was happening that made it a performance. So when you talk about the fundamentals is that deep practice of understanding your movement patterns, your rhythms your morphology, how tall you are, how strong you are, how your hips go, how your legs go, all plays into how you develop as an individual, So you have to be very self-aware and then also really almost obsessive with being really good at [00:50:00] the small details. Cause it's a game of inches, It's a game of a single decision at the right time or the wrong time that can make or break a moment.

And so, especially in sport, and I think that's the interesting part of what we do is, that the automatization of muscle memory and of doing things where you do it and you don't even know what you're doing, you have to get to that level. And I think that's really what it comes down to. I think there's been a big evolution in terms of coach education that there's nothing done in isolation. Everything should be, contextual. And I agree that context is extremely important, but within context, sometimes that refinement of movement, movement patterns can't really be addressed.

I think there's a fine balance, right?

You just can't just play games and expect to be great. There are things that make you great when you play games. Yeah. So that's the balance.

[00:50:52] Phil: Thank you, Greg, for that great lesson and for what you're doing there in Livermore As we wrap up [00:51:00] this episode and near the end of 21, we have a couple bonus things for you. We wanted to bring you two more short lessons from me and my co-host Paul Jobson to ring in the new year.

The first one is a lesson I learned from the incomparable, John wooden, and shared with you in episode 37, the fifth off season talk. It just so happens. I taught my son this lesson earlier today,

What I tell people is just be yourself, because here's the reality. If you go into an interview or if you go into, any relationship and you put on a face and you aren't yourself, Then these people are liking someone other than you. People are hiring someone who's not really you. You're going to find that out.

If they don't want to hire you. If they don't want to be friends with you, the real you, then you don't really don't want to be friends with them. Because they're, they're just not a fit. So if you're faking it, if you're putting on a face, then that's not healthy in any way. Now, [00:52:00] the reality is sometimes we don't know who we are and we've talked a lot about that.

Know your why. Know your identity. Know who you are. Once you know who you are. That's a massive topic. We could spend hours and hours. But assuming you know who you are and assuming, you know, how you're wired as we talked about with the DISC and assuming, you know, all that, and you're secure in your identity, be yourself.

If you're true to yourself, you're going to be true to everyone else. Like John Wooden said, so poignant. So simple yet so profound, something that we really need to be thinking about and our players, as I've said, our players will read right through it if we aren't genuine. If we aren't true to ourselves, our kids, you know, they know us, right.

So if we're trying to fool them by acting different than who we are, they're going to see right through. Different people were leading in any organization. Absolutely will be the case. And also, if you tell the truth, if you're true to [00:53:00] yourself, you don't have to keep up that act, which gets exhausting. If you're trying to keep on a face and keep on an act, as you're working with different people, as you're doing different things, if you're on a team, if you're in an organization, whatever the case may be, if you're not true to yourself, you're going to have to keep, keep going with that.

It's like what they say. If you tell the truth, you never have to keep your story straight because it's the truth.

Now we have come to the last lesson of great lessons from 2021. And this one just might be my favorite, my brother in arms Paul Jobson reminds us in this clip to keep the main things, the main thing. He shared this with me in the exclusive conversation we had in episode 58, about his decision to step down from his head coach position at Baylor university. It's definitely something we can all learn from.

[00:53:46] Paul: Our greatest calling is to raise up our children in the way that they should go. And for so long as a coach, you know we all feel that calling of mentoring young people, and I think we've talked about it on this show that, next to a parent, a coach [00:54:00] has the second greatest influence on a kid.

Yep. And that's a huge responsibility, but remember it's number two. And as a coach, sometimes you become the number one to kids because they don't have a true family household. But when I don't want to do is put my kids in that situation where their coach is their greatest mentor. I want to be their coach.

I want to be their life coach. I want to be, and I want that to be at home. I want that to be, me having to be the disciplinarian. Me having to be the one that pats them on the back, the one that praises them. All of those things go through difficult times with them, cry with them, laugh with them.

You know, being the coach at home is the most important piece of that. So I totally agree. I agree with that. But I do think the tough part of stepping away from something like this is there is that, that pull, that tug of, like, I am kind of a parent to a lot of these kids. And so that's, that is tough for sure.

But at the same time, like I said earlier if I have to make a decision who's whose kids I'm going to raise, they're going to be mine. And at the [00:55:00] same time I'm not going anywhere. I'm not dead. I am still accessible to my players and I care, I care deeply about them and they know that I've been able to express that to them.

[00:55:09] Phil: And with that folks, we have come to the end of this show. Thank you for your download today. Thank you for your downloads throughout the year. And I just, hope that you continue to learn great lessons from us in 2022. If you want to connect with us, you can do so

 you can join the how soccer explains leadership Facebook group. And we can go deeper into our conversation there. If you want to get more information about the Coaching the Bigger Game program, you can do so at coachingthebiggergame.Com. We are signing people up for that program and the mastermind program of that that will have limited spaces. Also we have I'm wearing my warrior way hat here because my brother Paul and his wife Marci have their great warrior way program you can check that out [00:56:00]

We'll have all those links at the show notes,

As I say, at the end of every single episode, I hope that you're taking what you learned You're using it to help you be a better leader. You're using it to help you be a better spouse.

You're using it to help you to be a better parent. and I also hope that if this is helping you, that you will share this podcast with others, so it can help them as well. And ultimately, as we talk about every episode, I hope that you take what you're learning on this show.

And you use it to continually remind you that soccer does explain life and leadership. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.