Aug. 26, 2021

Creating, Communicating, and Reinforcing Values with Lance Key, Head Coach of University of Louisiana at Lafayette Women’s Soccer

Creating, Communicating, and Reinforcing Values with Lance Key, Head Coach of University of Louisiana at Lafayette Women’s Soccer

In Episode 44, Lance Key, Head Coach of University of Louisiana at Lafayette Women’s Soccer, talks with Phil about overcoming adversity and resilience, his personal “why,” stewarding family and team, prioritizing our platforms, creating,...

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In Episode 44, Lance Key, Head Coach of University of Louisiana at Lafayette Women’s Soccer, talks with Phil about overcoming adversity and resilience, his personal “why,” stewarding family and team, prioritizing our platforms, creating, communicating, and reinforcing values, and reversing the trend of entitlement. Specifically, Lance discusses:

  • How he developed his passion for soccer and leadership, and how he got to be where he is today (4:02)
  • How concussions ended his career and the life lessons we can all learn from adversity (10:10)
  • His personal “why” and how he lives it out in the different areas of his life (24:21)
  • The balance of stewardship over family and coaching (and other vocations) (33:29)
  • The concept of our “platform” and prioritizing our platforms (45:10)
  • The importance of a humble and learning posture (49:30)
  • Creating, communicating, and reinforcing values in our teams (55:03)
  • The recent rise of entitlement in our youth and how we can reverse the trend (1:01:44)
  • What he has learned directly from soccer that he has used in his life and leadership outside the game (1:09:21)
  • His book and podcast recommendations (1:12:30)

Resources and Links from this Episode



PHil: Welcome back to How Soccer Explains Leadership. Thanks a lot for your download. Thanks again for joining us. I absolutely love doing what I do. I love getting to interview amazing people on this podcast. I love getting to share those amazing people with you. And I typically am so excited when I started this things.

I forget to even introduce myself, which I've done again today. I am Phil Darke, the host of this podcast, and I hope that I hope that this isn't the first time you've heard it. If it is welcome, if it isn't, you know, that you're in store for a great interview, just because we've been having amazing interview all the way through this podcast. Today is no exception to that. I had the opportunity to interview Lance Key. He is a veteran of the MLS. He has coached at Trinity University down in San Antonio. He was at the University of Texas for a short stint, and he is now at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, Louisiana, the Ragin' Cajuns.

I just [00:01:00] love saying that, which I'm sure you will too. So, if you haven't done so already join the Facebook group, you know, that's really where we want to go deeper into our conversation with you. If you have any questions for me, you can email me I'd also love to hear any guests that you have that you think would be a great fit for this show.

If you're one of those people that you think would be a great guest, I would love to hear from you on that. And we can jump on a call and see if it's a fit. So without more from me before this great interview, Lance, how are you doing,

[00:01:36] Lance: doing great, Phil, just another day in the office doing what we do have the, the pleasure of coming out of this recruiting dead period as we as we jump into this call.

So busy times ramping back up for us, but an opportunity to, to really start to interact with folks both 18 to 22 and, and their and their families and their support networks again for the first time in a really long time. And [00:02:00] I'm excited, man. I'm excited to be on this call too. I, I, I love what you're doing.

I love the way that you are just tying the sport into life. I think at the end of the day, if we're not doing that, then we're really missing that. We're really missing the point in the big picture and having enjoyed learning some things from some really insightful people that you've been able to bring on to this platform and, and just really humbled and honored to, to have the opportunity.

One of those.

[00:02:25] PHil: Well, I can tell you, I've got really enjoyed getting to know you for those of you out there who don't know about the dead period. It's been a really long one. And so we are recording this on June 2nd, which is important because June 1st, yesterday was the end of that dead period for division one.

So that's what Lance was referring to there. And I just can't even imagine you're chomping at the bit to get going. And I'm sure that'll come up a little bit here too. Just the impact of COVID on different programs, the impact of these different things in our lives as, as you've [00:03:00] learned in your history and your career to overcome a lot of this stuff.

And I just imagine the last year has been another example of overcoming adversity and different things in our lives. So before we get to that if you have listened to this through this podcast before you know that I love stories, you know, that I love hearing how you got to where you are today. So can you share that with us, just particularly how you developed your passion for soccer and leadership, and just a bit about your journey.

As you've told me, you've kind of overcome the odds throughout your career through high school and in the MLS and college and in your coaching career as well. So can you share that with us? Just a, just a bit of a, your history, and again, if you want the full thing, just go onto his bio at the University of Louisiana website, you can check out a lot of the, the numbers and the stats and all that stuff.

But right now I just kinda wanna get behind the scenes a little bit. Just hear how you got to be where you are today.

[00:03:52] Lance: Yeah. You know, if you go back to where it all started kind of the most unlikely of scenarios. I grew up in a little town south of San [00:04:00] Antonio, Texas, about an hour rural community, about 2,500 people.

I think our nearest neighbor was a mile away. And so it was, it was sand, which is as you, as I was growing up, not particularly conducive to developing a skill set, to play soccer. Thankfully though, it's, it's been fun to watch beach soccer really starts to evolve and, and, and to kind of tag onto the sport.

But, but growing up there, wasn't a whole lot of beach soccer being played, but I felt like I was every day training that but it's a little town, not really a youth soccer league of notes. My parents ended up taking over and running the youth soccer league Floresville the little town that I grew up in, so that myself and my family, my siblings had an opportunity to play.

As we got, as I got a little bit better, as we got a little bit better, we transitioned up to San Antonio was about an hour commute each direction. And so that was probably pre-teen probably the 10, 11 timeframe is when I shifted to go up to San Antonio, started playing there in the club environment and, and, and, and really just had [00:05:00] already fallen in love with the game.

You know, my, my family all played it, so we spent every weekend at the park and it was just, it was just a big part of who we were. Sports is a big part of who we were. Interestingly though, is as large of a, of a human being as my father is. I was never, I was never that never, that person never, that, that that body growing up, if you will.

So if I fast forward to go into freshman year of high school, I checked in freshman year of high school, about four foot, 10 inches. And, and I think just around 90 pounds. So coming in as a freshman, trying to play varsity soccer and varsity, anything at that point, that was a tough task. and I'd always been little my whole life.

I was always grown up as, as kind of the little guy and, and you know, I think in some ways developed a little bit of the, the little guy, the little guy, persona little guy attitude, a chip on my shoulder and knew I had to fight and scrap for everything. I was the youngest of three kids. And so there was already a little bit [00:06:00] of that in me anyway then compound that with being extraordinarily small and undersized. 16th birthday.

Phil I'm five foot two. I check in to get my my driver's license and sure enough, on my driver's license, five foot, two inches now 17th birthday I'm five foot 10. And so that was an interesting, an interesting year. Sure. I ran a lot run around a little bit like a, a baby Willdabeast without a whole lot of coordination from 16 to 17.

But even then I was really still pretty undersized. I hadn't, you know, hadn't put on much muscle. I think I was 130 pounds, something like that. Took that through my senior year wanted to go all over the country to play. I wanted to go to North Carolina or wake forest or university of Notre Dame and, and had the opportunity to be seen by a lot of the people that were in, in decision-making roles at those programs.

And the thing that just kept coming back to me is you just undersized. You're just not big enough. And you know, he could imagine I'd heard that once or a million times over the course of my childhood, so [00:07:00] it didn't deter me, but I had a, I had a person who had come into my life would really tried to be a facilitator for me.

And that was the coach, the men's coach at Trinity University named Paul McGinley. And he was, he was literally facilitating my college search experience with not a whole lot to gain. And Long story short, all the, all the nos you're too small. Didn't get an opportunity to go to an institution in the Midwest where I'd never really spent any time, but at the end of the day, I decided to, to go to Trinity to stay local.

My my family was there. It was a way to, to stay close to my family. I had a really young nephew at the time who I was really close with. And it was an opportunity for, for me at that point in my life to, to try to look beyond my scope of, of just what is my path, but, but also look at the opportunity I had to be an influence in his life.

And at that point as, as a young man either by luck or by, by, by intent, I don't know, but, but. I ended up staying because I really cared about [00:08:00] my relationship with him. And, and, and again, I don't know that I was necessarily mature enough to have consciously made that decision, knowing fully what the scope of that influence was going to be.

But I did. And it was the best decision, but one of the best decisions I've ever made, it's certainly the best decision. I think up to that point in my life because I walked into a position where I had a male mentor that really cared about me, that really wanted to see me succeed. He promised me a is as wild as this is.

He promised me that my, my lifelong dream to that point of being a professional soccer player, that if I came and played for him, he would make sure that it happened how he made that promise, how he felt confident in making that promise. I don't know, maybe just a really good recruiting pitch, but but I ended up going there and I spent four years.

A terrific four years, got a great education, really challenged myself in the academic space, probably beyond where I really wanted to be challenged, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. And lo and behold, at the end of seven [00:09:00] semesters I got drafted to go play in Major League Soccer. I'd spent a little bit of time in the, in the winter and, doing some, some pre camp training with the Colorado Rapids. And I was drafted out in Major League Soccer and the draft in January joined the team got to go to Panama and Portugal. And for preseason then back to to, to Denver Westminster was where our, our training facility was. And not long after that, got to start in my, my first ever Major League Soccer game in the rose bowl against the the famous Cobi Jones.

And absolutely got turned inside out as a defender. I mean, he had me for lunch snack dinner and the next day's breakfast, I think all in the same 90 minutes. But what a great experience, it was a division three player coming out. Always, undersize always kind of on the outside looking in and had an opportunity to start in my first, my first major league soccer match in the rose bowl.

And, and wow. I got to play two seasons with, with the Colorado rapids. Unfortunately in June of my first season, I had a [00:10:00] concussion that helped me out for a couple of weeks, came back and and very quickly thereafter suffered a second concussion that had a longer term impact on me. And so I ended up sitting out a good bit of that, that first season.

The second half of that first season got back into things came back in my second season was having a great start to the year again. June of my second season, concussion, number three came back after about a month, July 4th, concussion and 12 months. And at that point, the if that would play was still pretty early on film.

And you think about what we know about concussions and head injuries. Now there's still, I think a lot of questions, but you go back 20 years and there were just a lot more questions. And so at that point, I think part of the unknown, but part of the, the expected as well was that, you know, if I were to just to sustain another one because of the compounding effect of concussions, that could be it for me.

Whether it, whether it be a loss of brain activity totally, or, or, or some partial loss of brain activity, and then who knows what the [00:11:00] lifestyle would be there. So the league lawyers and physicians at that point, I think probably made the right decision. I might not have made the right decision as a 23 year old, but they helped me make that, and that was the end of my career.

And I had no idea what I was going to do. Fortunately. My dad who had played a pretty long career in, in the National Football League had encouraged me when I got drafted out and he said, son, this is one of the best pieces of advice that he gave me this, and, and at the end of the day, you'll, you'll be able to count your friends on one hand.

But, but the other piece of really good advice was at the end of the day, you're not gonna be able to eat that ball. So if you don't have your degree, you're going to be in a really bad spot. And he experienced that himself personally spent a long time in the league and came out, didn't have his degree and had to try to figure that out.

So I took his advice in the off season. After my first season, I was able to get my degree. I graduated from Trinity university in December of 2000. And little did I know exactly one year later I was going to be out of contract [00:12:00]no longer able to play the sport that I love, the sport that I had pursued passionately my whole life and not really knowing what I was gonna do.

And so had an opportunity to take over as an athletic director at a private school in San Antonio. As a bit of a segue just until I could get to figure things out and land back on my feet, but it was at least back home. And not long after that, I got the call from the athletic director that I've played for at Trinity.

And he offered me the job at 24 years of age to come in and be the head coach of the women's team alongside my, one of my greatest mentors. And one of my greatest influences in my college coach, we were, we were now called, Hmm. I created a different dynamic and a difficult, and I think as a 24 year old male, I probably didn't handle that as well as I wish I had looking back on it.

But I learned a lot through that time. And and as you said, I spent a good while there ended up at university of Texas for a short spell. And then now in the lovely part of the country of south Louisiana, where [00:13:00] you just couldn't find nicer people, kinder people more familial and and loving.

[00:13:06] PHil: Yeah.

You know, I mean, there's so much there that I had a love to spend hours just mining, but you know, we don't have hours here. We have a little, you know, we have an hour or so, so we'll get to some of it. But I know I've, I've heard so much, there's so much more to that story to go into your family, to go into your kids, to go into all that, which we'll get into some of that in a little bit here which all plays into it.

But right now I want to dig a little bit into those concussions, this idea, you know, one of the things we've talked a lot about on this show is overcoming adversity is resilience. Are these things that so often in, you know, it's one of the things that coaches and leaders over and over saying, the one thing I wish our people had more of its resilience, the ability to overcome adversity and move past these obstacles and these hurdles.

And so. You talked about that with the concussions. I mean, to get one concussion, I know my kids have had [00:14:00] a couple concussions. The, my older kids have had each have two, and that's a big deal, right. To have a couple, but to have it really quickly end your professional career, you know, what did that teach you?

You talked about when your dad was talking to you about that, but that idea of resilience, that idea of identity, what did that experience, and maybe even some of the other experiences with that one in particular teach you about just life and who you are and about resilience.

[00:14:28] Lance: I think some of the major pieces that I would, that I would extract from that experience in my own personal life is, is one.

Life is hard. Things are going to come at us on a regular basis. I mean, you, you talked about COVID at the start of the show. When you think about what that introduced to our society and how complicated that's made things and, and how it's presented us with something that none of us have ever experienced before.

And. Just through that, through the, having to navigate this over the last 15 months, I think teaches us a lot about [00:15:00] ourselves and a lot about our environment, our society, the people that we relate with. And, but it also shows you that, that there are things around the corner that are unexpected, that are going to really challenge us.

And, you know, at any point in time, right, you, you, you become to, to make to, to make an important decision. There's going to be the path that probably you should be on, and there's going to be an easy path. Right. And there's always that out. There's always that out in any of these circumstances that we find ourselves, there's always an out.

And, you know, I think one thing that, that I took out of it was if I want to accomplish the things that I want to accomplish in life, I have to be able to identify with something beyond. Being a soccer player. I wanted to play my entire life. I wanted to play professionally. As I said, my dad played professionally.

I grew up just wanting to passionately pursuing that professional career as so many kids. Do they look up to their parents and look up to their [00:16:00] mom and dad and mom's a doctor or dad's a doctor, so I'm going to, I'm going to be a doctor. You know, my mom's an attorney, I'm going to be an attorney. So it was, for me, it was, dad was a professional athlete and athletics was a big part of our, of our daily life of our family life.

And so to me as a little bitty guy, pursuing football was a tough ask. Right. So I pursued the other football and it's turned out. Okay. Right. But you know what? I got to that point, first of all, I think that the medical issues and dynamics and, and, and, you know, the, the post-concussive syndrome and all of those things that came with that I really struggled with.

It was a very difficult time, you know, I think compounding. The, the medical elements that come along with, with that type of serious traumatic injury, but then compound that with, with the emotional component of this is, this is what I've always wanted to do. And as a young person, I think sometimes we get so tied up into what we do [00:17:00] that sometimes we forget that that's not necessarily who we are.

Right. We were created as human beings, not as human doings, but oftentimes we get, we get so consumed by our human doing that. We forget about our human being. And so. I had, I had, I had a couple of choices, right. I could, I could lay in bed, you know, and I had, I had migraine headaches. I, you know, to the count of four to five, a week where I was debilitated in bed with no lights on and no sound and just trying to hide from any any type of, of sensory engagement because of the pain that it caused.

But then there was also this part that was going on in my heart and, and, you know, I feel like I could have just laid in bed and and maybe, maybe wouldn't have made it through that quite frankly. But, but something inside of me and at the time you know, I, I don't know that I fully was able to engage with it because there was a lot of things I was experiencing.

And I don't know that I had the maturity for, and I'd been through that before. You know, in, in my spiritual walk coming into, coming into a [00:18:00] phase of life and really being really excited about it and then having some, some adversity come my way and not knowing how to deal with it and, and sort of losing my path.

So I'd had to, I've had to correct my path before, and I felt like I was in that space of correcting my path and, and doing, getting back where people were, where I knew I could rely on the support of people that I needed to help me to help talk me through some things. It was, I think it was important to me knowing that you were not created to be alone, we're created to be in relationship.

And so laying in bed all by myself all day long, even though I didn't know what else I could do. Was not, was not the right path. You know, taking the medications that they, they put me on with all the side effects and things like that. Also something I made a choice. I wasn't, I wasn't going to stay in that state.

But you, you, you manifest that out and, and it, and it transcends any environment, right? Adversity transcends environment, because it stays with you. And there's a compounding effect to our experience and our wisdom that comes through overcoming adversity. And you're right. We're in no world, we're in a space right now where I, I think the [00:19:00] comforts of, of our world are so easily accessible.

They weren't, you know, there were a few of those comforts that were sort of unspeakable in many ways that, you know, I think when you and I were growing up, but, but I think the comforts of the world that, that the, the, the, the generation, the now generation has at their fingertips all the time just continues to cloud.

And I think to, to dilute that, that inner ability to overcome adversity and it becomes more difficult and, and, you know, every, every, every social media outlet has, has a multitude of filters that you can make that picture, look that much better. And, and, and, and the reality is these are all things that help us escape our own reality, but we're not meant to escape our reality.

We're, we're, I think we're meant to embrace that. I think we're meant to, to extract wisdom from those experiences, and then be able to take those out and have influence in our space. And, and to me, I love adversity. I love being uncomfortable because [00:20:00] in one way, I think that's how much, how I've been most of my life, but I've had some of these really key moments in my experience in particular, in the sports space that I think has really helped me to, to engage the young person.

My favorite thing is to be a mentor of 18 to 22 year olds. I look at my 18 to 22, 23 and look at all the mistakes that I. I, and I didn't have nearly the pressure on me because of the, the social influences that these kids have now. But I love the opportunity to mentor and adversity is a, is something I think I've had a fair bit of I know there's many out there that would, that would maybe argue that you don't know anything about adversity. Wait till you hear my story, but all in our own perspective. And I think in all, all relative to our own lives but, but adversity is always coming, Phil.

It's always around the corner. And we, we can define ourselves by the adversity that we face or by the way that we manage that adversity, by the way that we experienced disappointment or by the way that we manage disappointment. And that's where our character is formed and that's who we really are. And [00:21:00] adversity is such an integral part of developing that character for things that are far more challenging than we can imagine that are waiting for us.

Just around the corner.

[00:21:09] PHil: Yeah. You said so much there, it talks about a few of those things throughout the last. 30 episodes or so one of 'em you just mentioned Caroline Leaf with Switch on Your Brain. I don't know if you've ever read that book, fantastic book. And she says, you know, you can't choose your circumstances, but you can choose how you react and how you respond to those circumstances.

Right? The idea of what you said, I love how you said it because it's true. Like I can tell you mean it when you said I love adversity and people are like, you're crazy. You're nuts, but that's biblical, right? I mean, it's consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, that's where the character is developed.

That's where we get the humility. That's where we get to grow into who we are made to be. you can't get there without going through that crucible of that suffering of that difficulty of that adversity, [00:22:00] to be able to build that, to be able to do that. I mean, I, it's funny, I totally relate with you as far as being the, kind of the small kid and having some big shoes to fill on the American football field.

My brother was two and a half years ahead of me. He was a 4.5 40 running back 5'10", 200, just a rock. And I was 5, 9, 5, 8 that's. I may have been on the, on the roster listed as 5, 9, 5, 8, actually five, seven and seven eight. So if you want to be exact, but I was not 200 rock. I was not a four or five.

I was about a four nine, which is a big difference. It's only 0.4, but that's a big difference. And so everyone's like, you can be a running back. Are you going to do this? But interestingly, I was a goalkeeper, which at five, seven and seven, eight, that's not normal either. So overcoming a lot there and being able to sit, yeah.

You know what I'm created exactly how I'm supposed to be created. And how does, what does that look like? How can I live that out? How can I be the best I [00:23:00] can be in these different situations? And I clearly have seen that with you and just a little, I've gotten to know you. I love hearing when you say that you mean it, right?

It's that other verse rejoice in the Lord. Always again, I say rejoice, right? Like this idea of, I don't care, what's going on. There's things to be joyful about. There's things to rejoice about. And, sometimes is that perspective of. What's around the corner. How am I can respond this? How am I growing here?

What can I learn from this? These are all things that I heard in that answer that you just gave. And, and I love that. And I, and, and you, you alluded to something else that I want to jump into a little bit, which is your personal why and your life purpose. And you mentioned that it's really, you, you, you feel that your call is to mentor 18 to 22 year olds.

You've also talked to me about how that's getting more and more difficult. And I just want you to talk a little bit about that why. Why you're, you know, why you believe you exist and how that plays out in your coaching, in your marriage and your parenting, other areas of life and what that looks [00:24:00] like and how you're able to navigate that?

Because I think a lot of people don't think about it too much, but then also maybe aren't seeing how it does apply to every area of their life.

[00:24:11] Lance: Yeah. Phil, listen, I, I love my, my family. And, and my parents have both been really big influences in my life. Unfortunately my parents divorced at the age of 15 and I went through 15 to, to kind of 20 to 23, having a really hard time with the, the relationship dynamics that, that had developed in my family.

I got saved at an FCA camp at the age of 15, right before all of this transpired and, and, you know, unfortunately at that time I didn't have the emotional or the spiritual maturity to handle all that was going on. And, and so I didn't, I didn't pursue with passion, my walk with God during my teenage years.

The, the way that I would have wanted to, if I could go back and do it again at the same point it was adversity, right? And I look back on it now, and I'm [00:25:00] just so grateful to God for the plan that you had for my life. And I didn't know that that plan was going to involve achieving one of my lifelong dreams of playing at the professional level only to, to only to just have a taste of it.

Before I transitioned into something else, you know, at 24, I take over at Trinity University, the women's team, I had never coached the women's team in my life. I coached a little girl's team under 10, under 11 girls in the club environment, but had been, never coached a women's team before. And it was only a couple of years removed from the oldest.

And one of the things I remember that was very clear to me, it was made very clear as make sure that there was no misunderstanding about the nature of my relationship with the players that I was coaching. Well at 24 years old, I didn't have the maturity to really understand the entire context and meaning of what was being said to me.

And so I formed a wall around me. I came out for training. I came out for matches, and I went back in afterwards because I didn't know, I didn't know how to create that [00:26:00] relationship with 18 to 22 year olds as a 24 year old male in that space. And so I, for, for a number of years, I was not, I was not engaging in building and developing relationships.

And that's, that's one of my greatest, if I were to say I had a regret, that would be one of my greatest regrets is feeling like I did not. I did not serve those players during those years. I truly have a passion to, to, to do. And so I feel like I failed those, those young women during that span of my life, and I could continue on and just being focused on, Hey, let's go, we're going to compete.

We're going to win games and that's what we're going to do. And that's just who we are. And we did, we won a lot of games, even during those, those years to really, to the credit of the players, because I think I failed them in so many ways. They were able to overcome that and, and still go out and compete.

And, you know, I think my first season at [00:27:00] Trinity University we went 16-0 regular season. We were number one in the country. And at the same point, I look back on that and say, but we missed so much. And we miss so much because. Catch it and because I missed it, they missed it. And so that was not part of their experience.

And so I think part of what really compels and propels me forward in, in what I do, and my why is because I recognize that this time 18 to 22 is so crucial. And the development of life for anyone you think from, from zero to 18, right? You have the, hopefully you have the luxury of, if it's not parents, it's grandparents, grandparents, it's coaches, but there they serve in such a way in your life at that point where they're far more hands on, then you step out of that and you go 18 to 22.

Now I'm in college, I'm living with peers, I'm making my own decisions. I choose whether I get up in the morning to go to class. I choose what I eat when I eat, how I eat. I choose whether [00:28:00] I'm going to train, whether I'm not going to train, I choose my words. I don't have those influences surrounding me, enveloping me, almost protecting me.

And so now 18 to 22, I'm going to learn through that phase. And now I've got to become a decision maker. And so for me in my space, I want our student athletes. I want them to be great decision makers, not. Because I think it only matters 18 to 22, but at some point they're going to be mothers.

They're going to be employees. They're going to be employers. They're going to be friends. They're going to continue to be daughters and sisters. So their, their ability to, to learn how to make the decisions that we use, as you said, how soccer explains leadership, how soccer explains life, how soccer is the vehicle that we use to teach through if they leave here and they are, they are better decision makers.

They are better people, better human beings because of the experience that they've had. [00:29:00] And we've been able to mentor them, my staff and I, and those that surround us have been able to mentor them through some very difficult times, some adversity some challenges, some, some successful endeavors and, and be able to understand how to maintain that harmony through life and, and, and better prepare them for what awaits them afterwards.

That's what I'm so passionate about is what I love to do. That's also part of why I left Trinity. You know, it, it was such a difficult time for me there as much as I love that. And I spent more than half of my life up to that point at Trinity on that campus, neither playing on the men's side or coaching on the women's side or assisting on the men's side.

But there were some, some dynamics that were very complicated there in terms of the scheduling and when I started having children, that's where it got complicated. And I felt like, man, I, I want to mentor these 18 to 22 year olds, but I also want to be able to mentor my own children. And so that, that sort of created that time where what's the right path, what's the wrong path, [00:30:00] what's the right path.

What's the easy path, which is most comfortable, but which is, which is the path that God is calling me into. And, and so, fortunately, you know, I think what I do, and I think what we do is as parents is we are coaching our children through life, just as I'm coaching 18 to 22 year olds through life here.

Well, we just have different settings for that. But, but I think at the end of the day, leadership is influence. And if we're not having a positive influence on the people around us, then we are really squandering opportunity.

[00:30:26] PHil: Yeah, definitely. I mean, it's, it's something that I think that we too often try to separate and compartmentalize things.

Right. And when we do that, I think it's more, or it's easier to. It just neglect to some of the responsibilities and some of the, really the things that we are stewards over. Right. And we're stewards over these lives. So you and I, and I see that in that answer, folks, if you didn't really listen to that and really hear that, what, what Lance was talking about in that last, last answer, go back and listen to it.

Because in [00:31:00] that, it's exactly why we do the show because there's so much in not only what he said, but also how he said it. So that the, the vulnerability that you, that you shared in that, just to look, I, I blew it really in the first few years I blew it, but I didn't just say I blew it, throw up my hands, I'm a terrible coach. Maybe I shouldn't do this. No, it's I blew it. And now what, what's the, what's the next right thing that I can do now that I've realized that and the next right thing is to say, okay, how can I do what I know I wasn't doing? Right. And that's what you've been able to do. And, and I've seen that just in that, in that little, in that last answer and the other conversation we had, and one of the other things you've talked about, and you alluded to it again in that, in that last answer, in that last conversation we just had there and this idea of, you know, your family, right?

And so often this is why, how soccer [00:32:00] explains leadership. It's not just the game, but it's everything that goes around the game. It goes everything that goes along with the game that we often neglect other things, as you said, you neglected the relationships because you wanted wins. and you didn't want to, and you didn't want to negatively do things.

And I get it. You're 24 with 22 year old girls like that. There's a lot there that could go sideways. Right. And so I get it. It's not necessarily what you're created to do, what you're meant to do and what that position has the potential to do. As I've said, we, as coaches have privilege to be able to impact lives.

It's, it's a responsibility. I see it as a stewardship over their lives. Right. But you also have your family, as you just said, and you alluded to it and you told me a story of a time, you know, really your wife was spending a year praying you out of soccer, Praying you out of coaching. Right. And your daughter had a question that she asked you, can you just share that question that she talked to you about and how that really [00:33:00] impacted you and also how you've lived since then, how you've been able to take those things and now incorporate them into what you're doing at Louisiana in the way you're coaching and also the way you're living at home and engaging with your family since then?

[00:33:19] Lance: Absolutely.

Yeah. I think I'll have to pick that up in a few different pieces and you may have to prod me if I, if I miss out on one of them by the end of it. But you know, family is, is it's so, so important to me. And as I said, we, we, there was some great family dynamics for me in my household growing up. And there was some, some not so great family dynamics.

And I love my mother. I love my father and I'm grateful for the influence that they had on my life. You know, I think the mentorship piece when I got to college and, and the, the relationship that my college coach that he began to initiate by trying to help me go to Institute to a, to a university, to aninstitution of higher ed.

When I didn't, I wanted to go everywhere, but where he was [00:34:00] and that unselfishness and that willingness to just, just be, be a servant in that space. And to say, I'm gonna, I'm just gonna help this young men. It may not do anything for me, but I'm just going to help this young man. That was a great example to me, of mentorship and service because he really stood to get nothing out of it.

And in the end it was the relationship that he built with me. It was his care his genuine, as authentic investment in me, that made such an impact. And, and that was probably one of the first really recognizable mentor, mentee relationships that I had up to that point in my life. And I think that's where my passion for mentorship probably really started.

And recognizing that, that. Wherever we are in life. We have a platform and that platform from that platform we're going to have influence. And what we do with that influence from that platform it's critical. Somebody, [00:35:00]somebody is relying on it. They're, they're desperate for they're in such need of it, whether we recognize it or not.

And so. So that, that ties in the mentorship piece to this next phase. What I didn't have, and I told you at 15, I was saved at an FCA camp at Schreiner university in Kerrville, Texas about six rows deep on the far left side of the auditorium. I remember exactly the moment I remember being overcome by the presence of God in my life and, and just absolutely beside myself in, in the tears that I cannot even explain to someone, if they've never been through that experience.

And if you haven't, you really should, you really should try it. Because, because of the presence of God is unlike anything else that you will ever experience. But, but losing my way, losing my way with that, fast-forwarding a number of years. It really took me re-engaging in my faith and, and really recognizing that being a, being a good person is, is by my own stance.

Is not, [00:36:00] it's not what it's all about. You know, you talked about, I could have said coaching's not for me, but I look at the other way, I could have said, Hey, I got this all figured out young ladies, you just need to do what I'm telling you to do. And we're going to continue to win games and win. It'd be number one in the country and in the national tournament and competing for championships.

But that would have been wrong of me. That would have been as wrong as, as stepping away from the game because God created me for certain things. And he, he gave me passions for certain things and he's, he's taken me along these paths. And although I might've made some decisions that have taken me way where he's made sure I've hit the checkpoints that I need to hit.

And so understanding that mentor, mentee relationship having a passionate for the game, understanding adversity, I think has positioned me and I take all those experiences forward with. So my wife comes into the equation. I'm very fortunately influenced that, that my wife has had on me in my adult years and her family as well.

She is, she's a PK, [00:37:00] she's a pastor's kid. She grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. And she grew up on the front row of church every week of her life that came to the United States at the age of 19. And I, I have the, the, the great fortunate and blessing to have encountered her about 10 years later.

I think I'd probably have to do the math on that. I think it's about 10 years. So. Through a story that we won't have time on this one. So you may have to have me back if nothing else, Phil, you and I will have a follow-up conversation and I'll give you the backstory on how on how we met. But that's, that's gonna carry us into the two to three hour frame here if we don't have time for, but she, she can pray the roof off a building.

She loves God and, and her living example for me and for our children is tremendous. And I think really helps to ground me as an ultra-competitive person. She doesn't come from a sport background. She comes from the church background. She's, she's grown to love sport and love, I think, love soccer.

Although as you said, she was trying to pray me out of it. So why was my wife trying to pray me out of the [00:38:00]game? But we had gone through some time where as, as we started to have our family, my oldest child was, was roundabout three. And. At that point in time, as I mentioned, I'm at Trinity and the schedule is really difficult to manage because of the course offerings.

You're either training early in the morning or pretty late in the afternoon, if not evening. So, you know, six to 8:00 AM training session in the morning or, or a five to seven or six to eight session in the evening. But with young kids are going to bed early. You know, they're, they're up and off, but they're not up and off at four 30 in the morning if I'm out of it out the door by then.

So I'm missing a lot of time with my wife and, and with my child at that point, my, my oldest child, and for the first couple of years, They're not, she's not articulating that. You know, she doesn't know how to, it doesn't know how to word that. Another phrase that, and so it doesn't really resonate as fully with me until she starts to.

And I'm going to, I'm going to use my words here, but basically saying, daddy, what about me? I don't [00:39:00] see you in the morning. You know, I don't see you in the evening. You know, we don't have dinner together, her in her own way of expressing that. And it really made me take a step back. And I, and I said to my wife, I said, how can I go to work every day with a passion, to, to to mentor 18 to 22 year olds?

If the example that I'm setting for them is one of, of an absentee father of one of, of a man who's placed his job and his, his, his professional passion over his family and his personal passion. How can I, how can I justify that? And what message am I sending to the 18 to 22 year old women who are gonna be.

Wives and mothers someday, I'm not living that example. I'm not showing them a good example of what a father is. I'm showing them example of a father who's gone, who puts, who puts his job in his profession first. And if I'm not mentoring, if I can't mentor them the right way, and I'm not [00:40:00] mentoring my three-year-old child at home, the way that a father should, should bring his child up, then, you know, what does the scripture say?

Right? Bring your children up in the ways of the Lord, right? Otherwise what's going to happen. She's gonna she's she's gonna depart. Right. So I've got, I'm going to weigh these things up. And what I know about being elite in anything it's through the experiences that I've had not to say, I'm, I'm truly elite, but I had a pursuit of being elite.

I don't think I've ever I've ever been there, but I've pursued it my whole life. It is balance is really difficult. Right? What I tend to tell our players, I, I don't know if I even really believe in balance, but I do believe in harmony. Right? And there's times where certain things are to going to pull on you a little bit more and there might be a little bit of sacrifice on this, and then you're going to swing back over, but you have to keep those things in harmony.

And so for me, I was out of harmony. And so my, and my, my child, my three-year-old child was telling it to me. I wasn't even recognizing it myself. It was coming from a three-year-old. So at that point in time, [00:41:00] I knew that I was entering into a time of transition. I didn't know what that looked like. That's what took me to Texas.

Austin was not a great fit for us. My wife and I were commuting in two different directions, every single day, spending hours and hours in the car. And, and so we weren't coming closer together, even though we thought that that that was what was going to be available to us. It just didn't work out that way.

So we moved back to San Antonio and that's when I start selling real estate. And money's good. Time is a free I'm available. I'm taking kids to school every day. I get to take my children to school every single day and drop them off and pray with them in the car and, and worship with them in the car.

And I'm there, their school assemblies, and I'm there most of the time to pick them up from school and anything that they're doing on there. And that's fantastic. But there was an absence of purpose on the other side of that equation and in my professional space. And so my wife really didn't want me to go back into soccer because she knew what, that she knew that that meant recruiting [00:42:00] trips.

And she knew that that meant five days away in a week. And she knew that that that could mean late home from the office or early in the morning to the office. And she just knew that that meant time away, that I'd been able to spend with my family. But as I said, harmony is important. So while, while things were going great in my, family life, and quite frankly, things were going great in our front end, our financial life, there was still something that was missing, right.

So she was quite happy for me to stay exactly where I was. And so she was trying, she was literally trying to pray and I was too, Phil, I don't know if I shared that with you in our conversation. I was trying to pray the desire and the passion that I had for this space, for this investment. Out of my heart and out of my life.

And what happened was we prayed ourselves right back in to what God had for us, which was to come to the Louisiana. I still have my my real estate license. I've got a real estate license in two states. I don't do a whole lot of [00:43:00] real estate anymore. But, but it's exactly where God wanted us to be.

And it's just, it's amazing sometimes to sit back and look at what God's plans are and how they differ from our own plans and how sometimes even though we have a draw and a passion and enthusiasm for something, we've got to submit it to God, we submit it to God. Right. And we're going to, and then we're going to make the right choices if we don't.

And we just rely on our emotions or our desires, that's what we're going to miss. We're going to miss the plan that he has for us.

[00:43:28] PHil: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Totally agree. And, and you know, it's some, that's, it's a lot, you really, it's hard to understand. The idea of platform until you get it. You said you haven't been at the elite.

You've been at the elite levels. Come on. I can say it. You don't want to say it. You're humble. I get it. But you play it in the MLS. That's that's elite. If that's not elite, I don't know what is, right. Maybe he didn't play Premier League or Serie A, but MLS pretty darn good. So, I'll say that also in coaching you've been incredible, but again, [00:44:00] what is the most important platform you have, right?

Is in your own home. And that's some that I've talked to people about that look. Yeah, I've written book. I've, I've done podcasts. People know who I am in different parts of the world, whatever. Very small subcultures. Yes, but still, you know, people, but really, if I were to disappear for six months, most people wouldn't even think about me.

If I were to disappear from six months from my home, that would be noticed, right. My, my wife has one husband. My kids have one dad. I can't delegate those responsibilities, all these other things we do in life, we can delegate, you know, if you go on sabbatical or if you have you're sick or someone's sick, you can get someone to cover for you.

But that platform that so often we neglect to get another platform that we want for something else. You know, it can't be delegated a kid that's just abdication, if you try to delegate it. So those are [00:45:00] things that, you know, are really, really important. And I think too, it goes into the coaching. It goes into these other things that we're doing, because as you said, if you aren't living a life of integrity, and if you aren't living out the values you're talking about on, in your locker room to your women, you're not going to have the credibility they're going to just, they're gonna look at you and go, your life is a wreck.

Why would we want to listen to you? Right. And so those are things that I think are really important for you to hear folks out there. If you weren't hearing and listening to what is being said here, it's so important for all of us to remember. And again, that platform idea that, you know, so much has been made of platform and how many followers you have and how many, whatever you call them on the different platforms of social media.

You know what none of that matters if you're not living a life of integrity, if you're not living really investing in the lives that are in your life, for real, that would [00:46:00] miss you. And that's a great question to ask who would miss me if I were to disappear for six months, Invest the majority of your time with those people.

That's just something that, yeah, go ahead.

[00:46:10] Lance: It's interesting. So, as you're talking and, and we're, we're going through this topic and kind of pulling some of the, some of the layers back, I'm reminded of a, of a poem. And I'm, I'm probably going to butcher this because it's, it's been a long time since I've seen it, but it's in reference to the indispensable man, right?

So the indispensable man, right? There's only one place where you're indispensable and that's at home with your wife and your children, as you said, every other space that we're in, every professional endeavor that, that we, that we take on. Any other thing that we do, there's always a replacement. Somebody, somebody can be hired in a week and then there's, there's new leadership in that organization and they move on, but your family and that's something that, that has been it's.

So it just burns deep inside me that, that our [00:47:00] responsibility. To our, to our family in a place where we are truly in this, the only place where we are truly indispensable. Right. And, and the whole concept of the poem, it talks about, you know, if you put your hand in a bucket, right. And you take it back out, right.

There's no, there's nothing gone. Right. That's how much you'll be missed. Right. That's the same way in so many spaces, but it's not that way at home. That's right. And that, that, that three-year-old comment of, what about me, daddy? What about us? You know, hurt and her way of saying that bless her heart. I mean, it broke.

And I knew, I knew at that point I had to, I had to make a change. And so, you know, we committed a lot to prayer. We, we probably, I, I, more so than her probably got, got, got drawn away with, with visions of what that's gonna look like. And well, this is what I've done my whole life, and this is what it's going to have to be.

And this is where it's going to have to be, you know, I had solved it all myself. But, but thankfully before I officially solved anything, right, we, we left it up to God and we really tried [00:48:00] to follow his plan. And, and that's all that we're trying to do at the end of the day. That's all I'm trying to do is to be the best version of myself that God created me to be.

And I'm gonna fail. I'm gonna make mistakes all day long. And you know, I, I think. One of the things I've learned through all the mistakes that I've made is that one of the most powerful words in the English dictionary or the English languages is sorry. The ability to, to apologize, you know, I I've done my best to try to apologize to those players.

We've talked about those players in my early years, that try to apologize to them in whatever way that I can to say, I'm sorry. I wish I had done better for you. I wish I had, I was mature enough to understand the mistakes that I was making. But, but I'm so grateful and, and I've, I've, I've continued to make mistakes.

Right. You know, I'm, I'm, after, after I really had that aha moment and I'm like, this is not about, this is not about winning matches, right? This is about, this is about winning in life. It's it's, you know, as, as we say here if we're champions in life, we'll be champions in our game. Right. So, and it takes a champion to win championships.

Right. And so our lifestyle, a [00:49:00] lifestyle of a champion, and it was an interesting thing. We talked about with our team here, when we first arrived a couple of years, We're going through some vision planning. It's something that, to my knowledge, they hadn't done before. And we had some international players.

And so to them when you say champion champion, that's holding the trophy, you know, it's less hoisting the trophy, but for us in the context of what we were talking about, it was being a champion in who we are as human beings, being a champion, and the decisions that we make and the relationships that we keep and invest in and being a champion in our own discipline or a self-discipline how we, how we prepare ourselves to get up each day, how, how we posture ourselves, men, Phil PO right now, probably the word that rings in my ears and in my head all day long is this concept of posture.

And this is probably another podcast too, but posture has so much to do with, with what, what we experienced in our lives. And I think sometimes if we can take a step back and just look at what our posture is in a moment, [00:50:00]and we can correct that posture, tweak that posture. We w the experience that we would have would be so, so much more valuable and so much more life giving.

But a lot of times I think we posture ourselves in such a way, as I said, you know, I could say, I'm going to posture myself to say, I'm the expert here. I'm the coach. I play the professional level cares where you play. You've never played women's college soccer before. Right. So I got a lot to learn here.

I needed to learn more than they did. I needed to learn from them, you know? And, and I think sometimes we get ourselves in positions of leadership. Sometimes we can get consumed by, I have an obligation, I have a responsibility to educate and to teach and to transmit information, right. So much more can be gained as a leader.

If we, if we change our posture there and say, I'm here to learn. I mean, I'd devour devour. We said this in our last email exchange, I devour leadership content, because I just want to learn, I want to hear what other people have experienced. What, what situations have they [00:51:00] been and what have they done? How have they approached certain situations and scenarios and player decisions and people decisions really, right.

I mean, I love sports books and I love to hear about the best coaches and managers in the world, but I love business books. I love, I love just books that talk about people because at the end of the day, that's what it's all about.

[00:51:19] PHil: Yeah. It's interesting you say that because just literally yesterday, The Clyde Best clip that I did an interview with Clyde Best.

One of the most legendary players of West Ham United, one of the first black footballers in the English first division and how he ended his second interview with me is exactly what you just said. It's this learning posture. It's his humble posture. If we don't have a learning humble posture, we're going to miss so much.

And what he said was we can learn from a drunk on the street if we just listen. If we allow ourselves to listen, right? It's this idea of listening, actively listening for what we can learn, not just assuming we know. Not [00:52:00] assuming we're the better, not assuming we have something that's some I've learned across around the world, in the slums of different countries where you could go there and go, oh, I have everything I'm going to come solve your problems.

The reality is we can learn so much from anybody and everybody around the world, if we're just willing to listen, you know, and that idea of saying, sorry that you just said, I mean, If you didn't know beforehand, it will make a lot more sense. Now that Lance was a philosophy major. So he has a philosophy degree.

Cause we're doing some philosophize in here. You know, I took, I was a philosophy major for one semester and then I decided not to do that after I realized that it was way too. It was just, it was too much out there for me actually was too much reading. If you want to know the honest truth, we're, we're vulnerable here today.

So that's why I didn't want to do it. But instead I did communication. So I can just talk all day right here with you. Right. So that's just what I do now. You know? So it is what it is. But that's those things of just saying, sorry, it's, it's such a little thing that it has massive implications. [00:53:00] So even this morning, before full disclosure, I blew up, there was a flood in my house and it set me off because my, my son clogged the toilet and overflowed, whatever I completely lost.

Just completely lost it. I wish I could say it was the first time it's happened in the, my 20 years of marriage and my almost 20 years of parenting, but it wasn't the first time. But what that allowed me to do was say, sorry to my son, who I laid into to pull them up aside and say, Hey, I'm sorry. I blew it.

And make sure that you don't clog the toilet again. But, but it's that sorry. Right? Where, and that's what I, some of the best, most memorable conversations and moments with my children is after I blew it, that opportunity to say, I'm sorry, where I actually took it and I didn't have the pride and I didn't have the oh, but I'm right.

If I'm [00:54:00] right. And I don't say, sorry, I'm wrong. So we could go on and on about. There's so much more we could talk about there, but unfortunately we do have a time we need to finish here in a little bit. So I want to talk about a few more things that we could talk about, any one of these things for hours and hours.

And, but we'll consider it the speed round and we'll still take a little bit of time on it, but I'm just gonna call it the speed brown. So then both of us will have that in our head as we're talking about, but all right. So really we talked a little bit about the idea of creating, communicating, and reinforcing values in the soccer program that, that programs that you've been able to lead.

What does that look like? Why is it so important? First of all, I mean, you talked about vision framing, you talked about all of that. You talked about champion and the different meanings of these terms, so to create, communicate, reinforce, and how does that help us? What does that teach us about life?

[00:54:53] Lance: I mean, I think it teaches it's exactly what life is.

I mean, we're, we're relating to people in a space where we're meant to [00:55:00] have like ambitions and like focus. We, we don't all have like experiences coming into that. Some experiences may, may be comparable but it requires this, it requires this, this collaborative. And it's, it's everything that we do.

We, I mean, you, and I know this having gone through college and Ben, you know, and, and now former former athletes, but, but still investing in that space, but it's everywhere we go. And you know, I really don't think that that soccer, you know, I, I loved, I loved what's. I know coach close. I was listening to that.

That's a podcast as well, and just took so much away. What, what a, just a wealth of wisdom and insight. She was in that interview. And so I hope to hope to hope that she's back on. Cause I, I enjoyed listening to her what she had to share. But as a basketball coach, right, obviously a soccer fan, but she said, she's saying the same things.

And, and, and really, I think people that, that you're, that you're bringing into this and giving this platform to, I think we're all more or less saying the same things is that what we do [00:56:00] is just an opportunity to, to influence people around us in such a way that they're better equipped for the things life is going to bring into to the equation at any given time. And that's, that's the, the influence of people. That's the, the, the help, the building up, the support, the equipping of people that, that we're trying to do. And, you know, for me, I pray all the time that God just equipped me for what he's got for what he's got in store.

For me, I'm just equipped for it. Right. Cause I don't want to fail. I don't want to fail him and I don't want to fail the people that he's designated me to have influence over. But, but everything that we're talking about, whether it's, you know, be it be a good human being be a good student, right?

That's your professional endeavor, which right now it's academic in a college space, but that's your professional endeavor and it's in everything, right. Continue to be a learner and be the best learner that you can and be a great athlete. Right? That's your passion, whatever it is that you're passionate about.

Be committed to that, be [00:57:00] committed and be in and invest yourself in that space to be the best that you can be. See, I don't believe that we were created to be average, right. Which is why it's a shame that average is average because there's so many people that are there. We're created to be outstanding. Each in our own way.

So find that figure out what that is and be committed to that. So those are the three primary areas of our life. I think that we're, that we're dealing with our personal life, our professional life, and then that space that we have passion, right? Because of whatever, whatever burns inside of us, there's a reason that that's burning.

Right. And so let's, let's be the best that we can be there. We have three, three real rules, and I think this, this is something that I've, I've derived from my college coach. And I think he derived it from Lou Holtz. And I don't know, Lou Holtz probably got it from somewhere because, because as you know, you have to innovate.

Excuse me, you have to imitate before you innovate. Right? So we're all getting things. We're all borrowing concepts and ideas, and that's, what's great thing about learning and reading, but do the right thing, do it to the best of your ability and make sure the people [00:58:00] around you that your decisions have influenced on.

Make sure they know you care about them and that you've considered them in your decision. And whether that's in soccer, whether that's in life, whether that's in their, their dorms, whether that's in their jobs, whether that's them as a mother, whatever it might be, it's going to apply in every area of our life.

And if we can filter our decisions through those three things, is it the right thing to do? 99.9% of the time we know what the right thing to do is we don't always choose it, but we know what the right thing to do is. And if we don't know, we know the person in our life that we can confide and that will know.

We don't always choose that person. Sometimes we choose the person that we know is going to agree with us, not the one who's going to really challenge us to do the right thing, but do the right thing, the best of your ability, right? Because that's what we're created to do. We're created to be outstanding.

We're created to be excellent, be excellent. And then show people that you care, because if you don't care about people, your influence, they're just, you're in a box and you're not going to be able to, to really affect the [00:59:00]people that we're called to affect. And so those are the things I think that most transcendent have transcended my experience as a player and have transcended into every area of my life, whether it be business or whether it be sport whether it be family.

And I just feel like every time I look at it, I think man, that decision that was made, if there's, if I had gone through those three filters and got all the way through and we can check, yes, all three of them going, gonna be really good decision makers.

[00:59:27] PHil: Absolutely. You know, and that's something that if we can teach.

Our teams to do that, you know, even just doing the next right thing, do it excellent. And make sure people know you care that would go a long way to a healthy culture, a healthy team, and really a winning team. Cause you're, if you love your teammates, you're going to want to be excellent for them. Right.

And if you know, they care about you and you care about them, it's, it's amazing how simple some of this stuff is. It's really difficult. It's hard, especially with. [01:00:00] Mad when we're tired when we're, you know, when we were selfish, unfortunately. But that's just the reality. But when we do that, man, it's such a great place to be.

And I know you and I both have been on teams that have that, and we've been on teams that haven't had that. And it's amazing that I know a lot of kids have never experienced it for various reasons. And it saddens me because I think that's why a lot of people are leaving sports. It's not because they don't love the sport it's because they don't like what comes along with it, which kind of leads to the next thing I really want to talk about is, you know, one of these ideas that we've talked about.

There's this great book, The Coddling of the American Mind. I don't know if you've read that book, but Jonathan height, one of my he's, he's becoming one of my favorite authors, a brilliant man, but he talks about this idea of safetyism. This idea of, you know, we're really getting soft in our thinking in our, in our, how we encounter talking about resilience, talking about all these different things, overcoming adversity, we're becoming soft in our ability to do that.

And as a culture and you, you talked with me about how you grew up, you know, and even talked [01:01:00] about it today. The idea of thinking discomfort is actually good because you grow through it. Right? That we talk about that all the great things in life, come on, just the other side of comfortable, but really that's being challenged in our society.

And that's not really being taught. It's actually almost being protected against a lot of times. So, and that, that has led to entitlement. That's led to some of these societal norms in our country and our culture. How, how have they changed the landscape of, of coaching and sports that you've seen over the last, you know, couple of decades and how do you believe we can reverse that trend, assuming you don't agree with it.

[01:01:34] Lance: Yeah. Yeah. You know, society is, society has such a great influence and you, and I think we're, we're fortunate to have come up in a time where information, the way we received information as far different than. The now generation is, is receiving information. You know, it's interesting that there were just this past weekend at church, they were, they were talking and they had some, it was a, basically a panel setting and they had some now generation [01:02:00] young people that were up there and they were talking about things the part of their experience.

But, you know, I mentioned it earlier. You've got, you got all your, your social media platforms that, that has become the primary source of information for this now generation. And, you essentially, you get your information from, from people that either you follow or that the social media platforms think you should follow.

Right? So it's being funneled, it's being funneled and filter through through. So you're only, you're only getting bits and pieces, but if that's your primary source of information, Then you're so limited in your scope of understanding, right? There's a difference between between knowing and understanding.

Right? And so I may know what I see on my screen, but do I really understand the context of that within, within, you know, our, our society at large, and then, and then going from knowing understanding, now we've got to go to, to being able to apply. So now you're trying to apply this knowledge within the scope of your [01:03:00] relationships.

And I, I think that it's, although they have so much more information that we do in many ways, their information is so much more limited as well, because I think it tends to be, it tends to be less, it's more biased. Right based on these filters. And, and it's unfortunate, right? A lot of people don't watch TV anymore.

Cause they've got their tablet or they've got their computer, they've got the phone screen and we're so glued to that. And so what, what this is, is you've seen it evolve into is the diluting of the idea of relationship. Right? All we've done this whole conversation, Phil, istalk about relationships.

Right. But unfortunately our, our young people know and understand less and less about what, what relationships really are. So I look at it this way. I think that our young people have gotten so interested in faux-lationships. Right. That's how many followers do I have? That's how many likes [01:04:00] do I have.

That's how many people, how many people are affirming, whatever it is that the content, whatever it is that I put out there as opposed to relationships, right? So a young person or any person for that matter, it doesn't, it's not just limited to young people. They're exceptional young people out there. Who I think are, are, are not part of this norm that we're talking about, but this norm is becoming more prevalent.

At the same point. We have a society of people who by and large is looking for affirmation of whatever it is that they feel is important. And so what happens is that's measured by followers. That's measured by likes. It's do anything you can to go viral, right. As opposed. And so that, how does that transcend into our, our actual relationships?

Well, now something that I feel if I take it to somebody who I know is a follower of mine. [01:05:00] I know they're going to like my message. I need to take something that's of significance to someone who may not be a follower of mine, but who is a, a mentor of mine, someone who may not like my message, who may say, listen, I understand what it is that you're saying.

I understand how you feel. However, this is the right path. This is, this is what, this is what needs to be done in this situation. But that's not what we're doing as a society. We're just trying. It's, it's all, you know, our media is about viewers. It's. Everything is about the number of people that you can get to engage in your message.

I was talking to some parents today about this. people are not particularly interested in conveying the reality. They're they're interested in conveying what might be popular and leadership is not always popular. Reality. Truth is not always [01:06:00] popular. My, my pastor recently shared this statement and this is what I'm going to be sharing a lot, I think while I'm very interested in your feelings, I'm far more interested in your future.

And I think right now we're in a, we're in a feeling society, but as leaders, we have, we have a responsibility and an opportunity. I would say, even to understand the feelings of those that we're leading and not, but, and help them contextualize those to allow them to move forward towards the future that they have available to them.

And I think sometimes we stop at the feelings and we lose sight of the future.

[01:06:45] PHil: Yeah. You know, the idea of entitlement it to that point, it actually stifles our growth to say, I deserve this, even though I haven't earned it, or I deserve it because I am whatever you [01:07:00] name, the, whatever that fill in the blank, you're not going to work for it.

You're not going to go the extra mile. You're not going to do all these things that we've always said are critical to character are critical to development. You're not going back to adversity. You're going to hit that wall and you're going to go, who's going to help me. Where's my, where's the ladder.

Someone bring me a ladder rather than how can I figure out how to do this? How can I go through this and work through it and who can help me? Yes. And finding people to help and to have those teams and the importance of having that rather than I deserve something without really being able. And that goes to feelings too.

Right. That feeling that comes. I deserve this is, is really that it's not based in logic. It's not based in rational thought a lot of the time, it's just based in what we, what we've been told, what we see, what we see on social media, which is like you said, the ratio for relationships fo for relationships, whatever.

I dunno, you said it, you said it better than I [01:08:00] just did. I started saying something and it started going sideways there real quick. So I'm not going to try to say it again, but those ideas are so important though. What you just talked about, just really understanding what is real and what are we created to do and how can we do that?

And what does it take to work to get there? It's it's not going to be just something that's going to feel good all the time. It's going to be tough. We're going to hit barriers. We're going to hit issues. And how do we work through those? That's what shows the character and that's what our jobs are as coaches, right?

I mean, that's what we're here to do as leaders in anything, whether it's coaches, whether it's leaders of organizations, whether it's us as parents, whatever we are leading, whoever we are leading, that is our role. That is our job is to help our people, the flourish. The only way you're going to flourish is to push past these discomforts that are helping us to build us.

It's kind of that crucible that we talked about to go through to strengthen us. All right. A couple more questions. Questions we always ask. We're going to say something else. [01:09:00] Okay. Let's do it. All right. Cool. All right. So what lessons have you learned directly from the game of soccer that you've used in your life and leadership in your marriage and parenting?

[01:09:11] Lance: I might have to go back to what I said earlier. Life is, life is hard. Yeah. And, and life is hard, but you're capable. Right. What we're capable of getting out on the other side of it you know, surround yourself with, surround yourself with people who have like values who are going to stand with you through the good times and through the bad times, and who are going to challenge you to, to be an overcomer who are going to challenge you to be your best find people that will, will speak truth to you.

You know, I think. To pick up a little bit on what you were just standing up, we're in a consumer society, right? So everyone's buying something. You know, one of the big things we try to do when we're recruiting, whether recruiting staff or recruiting players is not to sell them on anything. I don't want anyone to get here and think, man, I bought, I bought a bill here and this is not what I was expecting.

I want to know. I want them to know exactly what they're signing up for, [01:10:00] because I want them to know the truth of this, of this environment, the expectations of this environment, the accountability that comes with it. And at the end of the day, there'll be accountable. Not even, not even to me, they're going to be accountable to the agreement that we have, that this is how we're going to operate, but we're in a consumer society, wherever, you know, everyone's taught to buy things.

And this is one of my, one of my pet peeves is when, when people in leadership roles talk about buying it, I don't want anyone to buy anything from me. I just want you to be committed. And if this is not the right space for you, if this is not the right opportunity or environment, I'm not for everyone. You talked earlier about being the right fit.

We talk about the right fit all the time. I don't want anyone to be here. If this doesn't fit, what, what you were looking to do. If you don't want to be elite, you don't want to pursue elite. Don't come here because that's exactly what we're going to do every single day and all the things that we do. But I think, you know, to, to kind of bring it back on topic here, you talked about what is the game taught me.

And it ties in everything I think we've talked about, right? Adversity, challenges, overcoming resilience. Life you wake up [01:11:00] in the morning. There's things around the corner. There's things within that day that you aren't expecting that are going to really challenge you. Sometimes they're going to challenge you physically, emotionally, spiritually.

You're going to be challenged. We have to expect those things, but we also have to make sure that we do it. We're doing the best job that we can leading up to them to prepare ourselves. And, and to, to ensure that we can navigate through that. And that's the relationships and the things that we talked about.

So I don't know. I mean, I think I think that's probably has to be it. And that's, that's just, it did again, that's just part of my experience and what I've had.

[01:11:33] PHil: Yeah, that's good. That's good. Especially, I mean, looking back at your career, that's, that's a great lesson from the game that clearly has been learned.

And, and a lot of us do learn that through these, through the sport that we love, but to be able to teach that with real life examples, to all those that you're leading is, is critical. So, all right, last question. And I know you could go on for hours and hours on this. I'm going to limit you to, to three.

And then you can give me [01:12:00] more later and we can put on the show notes so you can look like this well-read man, which you actually are. So, but what have you read listened to or watched that has most impacted your thinking on how soccer explains life and leadership?

[01:12:14] Lance: Three.

[01:12:15] PHil: Wow. Well, you can go more. I'll right.

I just want you, I don't want you to go on all day. Yeah, three-ish exactly.

[01:12:20] Lance: There's a great book, Michael Jordan, I Can't Accept Not Trying. And, and for me, I think as for all the reasons I've said being the, the little bitty guy being the third of three siblings, I don't know any different than giving my best.

And I think he just does a great job in a really, really easy read. And, and really for anyone of any age in any space was recommended a book during a really trying time in, in my life, going back a handful of years ago, part of this transition. And what is life going to look like for me, a book called All In pastor out of a, I believe a church in the DC area.

Believe it's Mark Batterson. I might have to double check that, but I think that's it very impactful book for me. I reread it every year. And [01:13:00] then from there, man, I'm, there's so many, I, I love, I love John Wooden stuff. I love Tony Dungy stuff. I'm a, I'm a big jive, John Gordon's written it. I've probably read it.

So you know, all three of those, I, I think in a, in a certain space of, of leadership literature, there's just a lot of really quality content from, from those guys and their experiences. And then, you know, because I'm a soccer guy, like to, I like to read the, the stories of managers and, and some of that's top leagues in the world that takes some insight from them and the, the experiences that they had.

And, you know, sometimes I think man, if it worked for them and their space, it's got to work for us. And you know, and, and part of the, part of that all in peace, it's, it's a very spiritual, spiritual based book that that fed me at a time when I was starving. And you know, obviously coming straight out of the scripture.

So, you know, I think the word of God is, is the most powerful thing that we can read. And this, all, all the things that we need are right there. If only we would read it more myself included. But that's [01:14:00] probably got, that's got to make the top, the, the shortlist.

[01:14:03] PHil: I agree with that. And I know you could go on and on with books.

Cause last time we talked, you just had a stack on your desk that you just showed to me the different, the different books there. So I can, I can attest to the fact, I think you had Jurgen Klopp's, book there and a couple others there on oh, with the manager. So. You know, that, that goes back to what I've said.

Many times leaders are readers leaders are learners. So if you're not reading, if you're not listening to stuff, you know, obviously this podcast is something you're going to learn a lot from, because we do have some amazing people on this land. You're no exception to that. So I appreciate you. I appreciate your life.

I appreciate just the friendship that we've already built, and I am excited to continue it over the years. And so I just look forward to continuing our conversation. Thanks for being here today, to share your wisdom, share what God's done in, in, and through your life with our audience.

[01:14:57] Lance: Phil, listen,. I think I've got, I've got to turn it [01:15:00] back to you.

I appreciate you saying those things. And I appreciate, you know, being part of the lineup of folks that you've interviewed. You know, I, I, quite frankly, I thought. I've got no business being, being part of this group with, with some of the accomplishments and some of the, the, the leaders that you've had on.

So I'm very grateful. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to share but I think what you are doing needs, needs some some attention as well, not just in this podcast, but what you're doing across the world to impact people. You know, we talked about platform earlier on and, and I think you've, you've taken and created and built upon platforms that have not only allowed you to have tremendous influence across so many people, but using that to allow others like myself to be able to, to share insight and experiences. And, you know, I think at the end of the day, our, our hope and I would say the same is probably true for you. Our hope is just to have the most positive impact we can on the people around us. At the end of the day that's what I want most for my players is just them to leave better people.

And, and, and more, more equipped and more prepared because [01:16:00] of things that, that they experienced within our program. And to know that they're loved and, and because we're loved, right, the, our creator loves us very much and, and loves us in such a unique way. But it it's, it really is an honor to, to be on your podcast and, and thank you for reaching out and engaging me as you said, that just the, sometimes you connect so well with people that you hardly know.

And this is certainly one of those moments where I'm just grateful that we've been led into each other's lives, and I appreciate very much what you're doing. And, and look, look forward to continuing to support and, and cast your message out everywhere I can.

[01:16:33] PHil: Well, thank you so much. I mean, that's extremely humbling.

As you said, I mean, I do this, I do everything I do cause I love to help others to flourish and to make good things better. And so that's something that I, like I said, I'm humbled. Thank you for those words. Very much appreciate it. And folks out there, you know, this, these aren't just words. This is why we're doing this is to help you [01:17:00]flourish, help others that you know, flourish. So if you think this is going to help somebody else share it with them, you know, I, I have shared other podcasts with people. I've shared this podcast with people, not because I'm wanting to drive up numbers, but because I know it will help people.

I know it will help you. There's so much that we have to learn from each other. And so I do hope that we're continuing this conversation offline. I do hope that you're taking what you're learning from this, and you're using it to, to make you a better leader, to help you to help those in your, in your circles, to flourish, to help your, your family, those in your home, those in your circles, those in your platform that really do care about you and that you care about that you're using it to help you to help them.

And, you know, like I always say, I also hope that you're taking everything you're learning on this show and you're using it to help you understand how soccer does explain life and leadership. Thanks a lot. Have a great week.