In Episode 58, Phil sat down with Paul Jobson for an exclusive interview about his recent decision to step down from his Head Coach position at Baylor University Women’s Soccer after 14 years at the helm. Paul and Phil also discuss some highlights...
In Episode 58, Phil sat down with Paul Jobson for an exclusive interview about his recent decision to step down from his Head Coach position at Baylor University Women’s Soccer after 14 years at the helm. Paul and Phil also discuss some highlights and takeaways from the incredible interviews we have had during the second half of Season 4. Specifically, Paul and Phil discuss:
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Phil: Welcome back to How Soccer Explains Leadership. Thanks again for your download. I am so excited for this conversation. I get to finally, I keep saying Paul is not here with me on this interview. And once again, I get to have my brother in arms here with me. We get to have a great conversation, and today is a how soccer explains leadership exclusive.
Well, he's wanting to say that. So now we actually have that, at least as the time of recording, we're going to be talking with Paul about a big transition that I'm going to let him tell you about. So, Paul. How are you doing, man?
[00:00:39] Paul: I'm doing, doing well, Phil appreciate I always look forward to these conversations and just our, our time together.
I definitely look forward to it and yeah, I guess this is some, some kind of an exclusive interview since uh, the decision that Marci and I have made. And what Phil is referring to here is that I have stepped down as the head coach at Baylor university. and that has become public here[00:01:00] as of this recording yesterday of this recording and definitely a process of prayer and consideration through just what we've had.
Just an amazing time here at Baylor University for 14 years, just to built a tremendous community here. There's some sadness, obviously for, for stepping away from something that we've been a part of for so long, but I feel God's call to step into something else. And to be quite honest, we're not sure exactly what that is, but we're stepping out in faith knowing that God's gonna have something amazing ahead of us.
And so we're in a time of discernment to, to hear what that will be. But we do, we do feel that God's going to keep us in Waco, which we're excited about because this is an amazing community. Looking forward to cheering on the Bears maybe from the other side of the field for, for a while, and excited to see the direction that Baylor goes from here.
But definitely one of those bittersweet moments where, you know, sad in a lot of ways to, to, to walk away from something that we've been a part of for so long, that really honestly God's allowed us to be part of, but also excited because it's definitely a God calling and [00:02:00] I'm excited to see where he's going to, where he's going to lead us next.
[00:02:04] Phil: So, you know, one of the things that always comes up in these conversations is that one of the things I love about it is there's no scandal, there's no issues. There's no problems. to the contrary, I think you've built a program that is. It's just a great legacy. You have, you'd love the girls.
They love you. have built this program. And so it's, it obviously is something that people are gonna wonder. Like, what was it that you felt like, as you said, it's clear, you know, it's a God call. You don't know necessarily what you're going into. Usually people will go, well, yeah, I'm called into X, but sometimes it's just, it's simply that, you know, Done with something and that's okay.
And that's right. And good. So what was it, you know, over the years, the, probably it wasn't just something that happened yesterday, but what is that discernment process look like? [00:03:00] And I, and I ask this because I know that I've, I've gone through that. I had a four year discernment process of do I leave a law firm to go do something else?
And at first I knew it was something else. I didn't know what that was. And then it slowly became clear that it was an orphan care ministry that I knew nothing about. Three years before. And it made no sense in the, in the world of, of certainty and security and comfort and all these things. But what did that look like for you?
What did that discernment journey look like? Cause I know you and I both know you're not the only one going through that in the context of college coaching and recruiting and the grind. Thing. So just speaking out to people who may be going through a discernment phase, that they're scared, that they're, that they're worried that they're just not sure what that looks like.
And sometimes even questioning that call to maybe do something else. What did that look like for you? No, I
[00:03:54] Paul: think first of all, I think one of the things you've got to consider is am I, am I doing what I'm doing? Because it's [00:04:00] what everybody's expecting me to do, or am I doing something because this is what God wants me to do.
And there is no doubt in my mind that the 14 years here at Baylor and the three prior at Northern Illinois, Being a women's college soccer coach was exact exactly what my calling was and I never thought that I'd be a quote unquote professional coach. I just thought it'd be a hobby for a long time.
And God called us into this and no doubt that this is what we were supposed to be doing for the time that we did it. But I think if you, Stop listening to that, that voice where you stop listening to what God has ahead of you. Then I think you, you you're tuning them out. Right. And I've never really felt like, I was a soccer coach necessarily.
I just felt like I was a guy that was called to coach soccer. I think with that perspective being called out. Well, it's probably easier for me than maybe others. I think we can get really caught up into our job, being our identity and that's, that's not what it's been for me. I struggle with it.
Obviously I'm prideful person and I love success. And, you know, I love the, the things that come along with being a head [00:05:00] coach, but I, when it comes down to the core of it, it was about relationships and building you know, building young women, you know, better soccer players and better people. And I just think Grown as a, as a man.
And you know, my number one calling is to be a husband and a dad. And when a career. Starts to, interfere with that. The, the decision actually becomes pretty easy. You know, th this job while I've loved it the, the demands of it are only getting greater and that's nothing to knock the job.
It's just the, the truth is that being a Division 1 head coach is very time consuming. And, you know, you're pouring into 30 young people and you have a staff and they're important people, and you don't want to compromise that. And then you go home and. Wife and kids that need your time and attention and your love as well.
And I'm not a, a person that does anything halfway. And then when you look at it and go, okay, I've got to choose one because I can't do halfway. All of a sudden the decision gets to be pretty easy you know, hard but easy and like, okay, I've got to choose one to do it's family or it's the team.
Wow. That's, that's kind of an easy decision and I think.[00:06:00] When that's, what's leading the decision process. I think God honors that because I do feel that, you know, my number one calling is to be a husband and a dad. And I don't know what God's leading us into necessarily, but I do know that it will be more time with, with Marci and the boys.
[00:06:18] Phil: I have a feeling. It will include coaching them at some point, but I don't know, maybe not, maybe you won't maybe be on purposefully coach them. Cause you know,
[00:06:26] Paul: it'll, it'll depend on the, on the sport for sure. And hopefully being able to discern what the kids need too. Right. I mean, they may not need me to be their coach for different things.
So we're excited about it. At least being able to navigate. That would not even be a possibility for me to coach my kids and do, do this job the right way. So I'm excited about that, that there there's a lot of sadness involved too, but at the end of the day, that's, you know, being able to move on to what's next is really exciting.
[00:06:52] Phil: Well, there's this great book. I don't know if you've ever read it or heard of it. I imagine with your Atlanta days, you, you have at least heard of it, but Andy Stanley [00:07:00] has the book, Choosing to Cheat, right. And as he talks about, if you're going to cheat on something cheat on your work because there, and I talk about this, you and I have talked about it.
The, the fact that there's certain things that only you can do, right. When people say that about leadership, do the things that only you can do, the reality is. Coaching Baylor women's soccer. Many people can do that. Yeah, well, they do it. People might think they don't do it as well as you. They do it.
They'll definitely do differently than you do it, but they can do it and they can be successful and they can win games. Some people will probably come in and win more games than you do. They might not have the as good a culture. They may have a better culture who knows, but I know you have a really good culture there cause I've been, I've seen you and I've walked alongside you to be able to see it.
And I've been able to go out and train, you know, do the disc training with you and to be able to see the girls and, and it is, it's a great atmosphere. It's fun. It's alive. Right. But the reality is only one person can be the husband to Marci, right? Only one [00:08:00] person could be the dad to your kids. And that's something that I wrestled with regularly.
And I continually go back to that and go, am I doing. To my fullest. And part of that is working. And part of that is doing a job. And part of that is modeling for them. How to, so I'm not saying that, oh, you just quit everything and you go beat it. That wouldn't be being a good dad because you're not modeling for your child, what it is to work and what it is to go out and do things to your fullest and be a good friend and be a good employee, or be a good boss, or be a good leader, whatever it is, that's what we're doing.
That's part of what we're doing. How are you loving Marci? What does that look like? And. And I haven't, you know, obviously as you talk through that, this decision was one that you and Marci, as one made together, which again, models that for your children, models that to your wife. Right? So I hope I'm not putting words in your mouth here, but that's what I hear you saying is the, as part of that discernment, it's, what are these things that [00:09:00] only you can do?
And quite frankly, there's very few things that fit into that category. That category. Right. And is that something that you had as part of the process
[00:09:09] Paul: too? Yeah, for sure. And you hit the nail on the head and, you know, to backtrack of that a bit, anything that Andy Stanley has written that probably, I probably read it even back to a great book called Visioneering, which I think is just fantastic.
I'll go back and read that a lot, but. Tremendous pastor that Marci and just side note, Marci and I were going to their singles ministry before we were even dating as to single
[00:09:33] Phil: so close once or twice when I was out there. So yeah, so
[00:09:37] Paul: part of that and so anyway, that sidetrack, but anyway you know, along the same lines, we had somebody tell us, you know, with this team, if not, you then who? And it hit me and I was like, man, maybe, maybe this isn't right. And then I said, you know what?
That person is absolutely right. But in the wrong context, For my children and my family, if not me, than who. With a [00:10:00] team, like you said, like somebody else can come in here and run a program. And just so, I mean, it's clear I will be their biggest fan. I hope that they become the winningest coach and Baylor women's soccer history, and hope they get there faster than I did.
And I hope that they you know, I'll be their biggest fan and cheerleader because I love this program and I want them to be successful. So, somebody else you're right. Can, can. And probably probably better than me I would think I would hope. But you're right in the family aspect, you know, God's call God has definitely called me to be the forever husband, the forever dad for, for that family.
And that's a, that's a huge a huge ask of God. And it's a huge responsibility for me and one that, you know, I don't want to take lightly. And I think another thing that goes along with the process. You mentioned that, you know, Marci and I are, together on this decision and had, she had to do.
Feel for the call for what our family was to do, then we'd still be kind of navigating that. But just a decision we were able to come to together that we also allowed our boys into this process too, which has been kind of cool to just share [00:11:00] with them in as much detail as a kid can understand that they're different ages.
But just to say, Hey, you know, this isn't a, a flippant decision that we're going to pray about it as a family. Talk about it as a family, we're going to navigate this as a family, as a team, as a team within ourselves of how do we, how does team Jobson navigate big decisions? You know, how does team Jobson come together and pray for, for, for what's next?
How do we, how do we do that as a, as a family? And in some great teaching moments in that As well that we'll continue to foster and grow in, there'll be difficulty coming through. I'm sure, you know, in time there's change and there's difficulty, but as we all know, there's nothing worth having that doesn't have some kind of difficulty to push through to get there. So we'll navigate that with our kids and hopefully I think them being part of this is, is huge for their growth and development as has people.
[00:11:49] Phil: Absolutely. I mean, I remember some of the conversations I've had with my kids, you know, where they why'd you do that, dad, why'd you do this?
Why didn't, you know, and be able to tell him, well, you know, here's, [00:12:00] here's my why. And you guys, you guys are. You know, your mom's number one on God's number one, you got your mom's number two, you guys are number three, like in, hopefully you've seen that. And you know that, and there has been choices that have been made and yeah, I didn't make as much money as I could have.
I didn't do this or that or the other thing, but I've been able to be more present now, five kids. I can't be fully present for all of them all the time. That's part of the deal to you, you know, you have one less, but it's the same deal, same drill. Right. And. You know, your kids will probably miss, like sitting on the sideline of the football game or, you know, things like that.
Sometimes that was pretty cool. By the way. I don't know if you guys saw that out there, but it's a picture of Paul, like sitting, like having a picnic lunch at the back of the end zone at there in the, during the Baylor football game, which by the way, they're doing pretty well this year. But that was, that was a fun picture.
I'm like, that's reminded me of my kids at my kid's soccer game, but it was a little different stadium, but yeah. Yeah, it was
[00:12:53] Paul: fun. It was cool. And I think that we we talked about that with the kids, like, Hey, we may not be able to do, you know, [00:13:00] basketball and football and have, you know, the, the perks that we've had over the years, but we're blessed to have them, you know, to begin with.
I think the hard thing for my kids is, the younger, they are the more it's this way, the older kids aren't at this point, but you know, they've had access to a beautiful, full size. Soccer field and, things that, you know, like what you're, my friends don't have access to that. Like, that's weird, you know, you don't have a soccer.
So, coming down to a different, a different life and expectations and things. So, it'll be, it'll be a cool transition for them too, and just helping to navigate that. It'll be, I want them to navigate those things now while they have us to help guide them. So that when we're not around that it's not the first time that they, and we see that collegiate league coaching college kids that, you know, as a college coach, you're helping these young people navigate some things that you hope maybe they had navigated younger in life, but were sheltered and protected.
And didn't get to do that. And now it's harder because they're older and don't know how to navigate the emotion of it and the those things. So, I think [00:14:00] seeing that with college kids for so long, Helps us to understand maybe, maybe some of the things that we need to be more intentional with us as parents, to our young kids and the young people that we're guiding in our programs here in Waco.
[00:14:13] Phil: Yeah. You know, yeah, I mean, there's so much we, we could, we could talk about on those fronts. I just, I just love the fact that you're having those conversations with your kids. I love that you're making those memories with your kids. And the memories will, there'll be more memories being made. Cause you'll be home more.
There'll be very different. Obviously the big ticket items are great, but honestly, the things that kids remember typically are not those things. They remember the things that you didn't even intend to make the memory with. Right. And all of a sudden they're looking back, oh, I remember that time. We were like in the mud, in the backyard.
Cause it rained and we were building the pool and we got to slide around and goof and throw mud at each other. You know? I mean, Well that wasn't we didn't. What about the game that we went to and sat?
[00:14:56] Paul: Yeah, we talk about that. And Marci, and I've had a time, you know, a lot of [00:15:00] time to, to reflect on things cause we've lost, you know, our parents this year too.
And just thinking back to our childhood memories of, you know, you know, talking about things that our parents were very intentional about trying to create things, but some of our best memories, like you said, were things that weren't anticipated to be memories and seeing that with our own kids of like, man, some of the coolest thing that we've done have been things that weren't even planned, you know, and we can over plan our lives and over plan our children's lives.
And we kind of plan plan out away from real memories of time together. And, you know, we've been blessed that our kids are gonna have some fantastic memories that were unplanned too, just with, even within this program of times they've been around and people that they've gotten to meet. And I don't mean like famous people.
I mean like the players that have come through the door here that that have impacted my children and vice versa. So those are cool memories that are unanticipated benefits of, of doing what we do, but that just comes down to, you know, that doesn't have to change. We're going to be around people or impact lives.
And those are things that are [00:16:00] fun. And, and you mentioned something earlier. I don't want to get past this. You kind of mentioned this at the beginning of. You see a lot of controversy and changes and things, and you know, I've already seen and heard a couple of things of like, you know, through this. And I, I just, I just want to make it extremely clear that, you know, I've got nothing but respect for Baylor University.
Fantastic employers and they're family and will continue to be this was a total God thing and me and Marci thing. And Baylor's been great about trying to try to get me to change my mind quite honestly. And I appreciated that, but nothing but just fantastic respect for, for this university and really how they're going about this change and the people that they're going to interview.
They're going to. An amazing job, bringing somebody in to guide this program. And I didn't want that to get away. Cause you had mentioned, mentioned how there are so many changes that they come by because of controversy or things, you know, and, You read the release that, that Baylor wrote. And it was just, it was, it was fantastic and how they honor the program and, and, and things that have gone on over the years here is just true to that.
And just a [00:17:00] ton of respect for, for this university. And again, I, I said, we're sticking around because this is an amazing place and we'll be we'll be big, big fans here. And looking forward to cheering on successes in, in every sport here at Baylor. So.
[00:17:12] Phil: I'm glad you said that. I mean, I made sure at the outset and folks, if you're, if you're now 20 minutes into this episode and you're going, what the heck?
How come we're not talking about Ted Lasso? Well, we were supposed to have episodes nine and 10. This post-match show, which I didn't even mention. This is the post-match show for season four, but it is This was just too good to pass up, to be able to have once again, I will just remind you, this is an exclusive with Paul Jobson.
So, no, but in all seriousness, to be able to have this conversation, like this is real, this is raw. This is what we're going through. We wanted to invite you guys in to what is obviously a major decision from the standpoint of Baylor Soccer but more, more than that, it's a, it's a, it's a big decision for the Jobson family and.
So I wanted to be able to get to the [00:18:00] why behind the what, right? I mean, like you hear the, what you read a press release, you go, okay, well, there must have been something else, but there wasn't something else. There was you really coming to you and Marci saying, you know, and you know, even with the kids, like you said, this is the time, the time is right for this.
And most people don't leave when it's going really, really. Yeah, right. And, and so why would that be? Right. So to be able to get into that a little bit, but, but also I think what it goes to a lot of times is we're, especially in today's day and age. And we've talked about this a little bit on the show, but we are built so busy building our platform.
Getting approval from others to be getting followers, to be getting friends, to be getting whatever views likes. I don't care what you call it. Oh, you know, I have friends, oh, my so-and-so got 1.5 million views on Tik TOK or whatever. I'm like, we're putting our value into that. And so we're seeking that a lot of times I say [00:19:00] we generally not like me and you, but, but a lot of people that's where they're putting it is platform building.
In the outside, whatever. Now metaverse, I guess is what they're calling it. And with Facebook and rather than really understanding what their true platform is, which 100% starts in the home. If you're, if you're not seeing your wife and your children and those, your friends and family who come in and out of your life.
To say that is my platform. And I better be hitting that out of the park because those are the people that I really influenced. I think we've talked about this here. I can't remember if I've talked about it with you, but the question that I ask people is who are the people in your life that if you were to disappear for six months, they'd actually miss you.
There's not many people like that in your. That's just, that's just the [00:20:00] reality. And that's that shouldn't be depressing. That should be a wake-up call to go. Who are those people? Am I investing in their life the same amount of time I'm investing in my online profile. And if it's even a question, like if you have to do math, you're doing something wrong.
And I'm just going to say that straight up, because those are the people that matter. Those are the people that care about you and you care about. And I fear that too many of us today are dropping the ball on our true platform. The people that God has put into our lives to impact them and us and them impact us.
And that's, I think what this conversation is about.
[00:20:44] Paul: Yeah, I do agree with that and I think it, you know, all of that starts at home and I think that, our greatest calling is to raise up our children right. In the way that they should go. And for so long as as a coach, I think, you know, we all feel that calling of mentoring young people, and I think [00:21:00] we've talked about it on this show that, you know, next to a parent, a coach has, you know, the second greatest influence on on a kid.
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. 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 a, and I want that to be at home. I want that to be me having to be the disciplinary and me having to be the one that pat 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, being the coach at home, is it. The most important piece of that. So I totally agree. I agree with that. But I do think the tough part of, of stepping away from something like this is there is that, that pull on that tug of like, you know, 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 [00:22:00] to make a decision of whose, whose kids I'm going to raise, they're going to be mine. And at the same time, I'm not going anywhere. I'm not dead. I am still accessible to my players and I care, I cared deeply about them and they know that I've been able to express that to them.
So that's, that's kind of a, a cool transition, but yeah, I do think we spend a lot of time building our, platform and, and Marci and I talk a lot about You know, who are the people that that we're going to invest in and who's investing in us and making sure that we're not going so wide with so many people that we can't go deep with anybody and who are the few people that we really can invest in and invest in and invest in us so that we can continue to grow as people and discern what it is.
that God wants to do with our lives and how best to raise our children. So I think those are important pieces. I think those things transition, into soccer, into sport, into coaching and into leadership. I mean, we've talked about it. I think we talk about it a ton on this show.
It's what's a lot about is, you know, that leadership piece [00:23:00] does start at home. You know, anytime you asked that question or what it was, the game taught you that, impacts or transitions or translates into your life at home in your marriage or your children, that's. You know, I think a lot of times it goes the other way too.
Well, what kind of parent are you and how does that transition into how you are a coach or a leader? You know, those are, those are fun conversations to have, but yeah, I, I long long-winded there, but I agree that, that it starts at home and you got to start with the children and as we've grown, our family obviously are, are, you know, starting here as college coaches with no children and then coming to Baylor with no children and then slowly adding kids every couple of years your priorities do change.
You know, God gives you other responsibilities and you've gotta be able to jump into this.
[00:23:47] Phil: Yep. When you started, you had zero kids,
[00:23:49] Paul: zero kids. Hard to imagine what we did with all of our free time back then, but we evidently had some, I just don't know what it was.
[00:23:57] Phil: So just to quash, all the rumors that are [00:24:00] flying around, I have no doubt in around the country.
You're not going anywhere on how soccer explains leadership podcast. Am I right on that?
[00:24:08] Paul: That is a, that is, these are hard hitting questions and this exclusive interview that we're having, but I love this. I love I love this. I we've, we've talked about what we can do to, to, you know, do more here for this community that we're, we're both very passionate about.
So yeah, man, let's keep doing
[00:24:24] Phil: this. So just to put your mind at ease, I'm sure that was probably, you probably were hardly didn't even be able to listen out there folks, but I just wanted to, you know, bring it, bring it just to be able to calm, calm your nerves a little bit. So, one thing I want to give you a chance and I do want to dive a few minutes into the Into the episodes that we've had this, that to finish off season four, boy.
Is there anything, like, I know you got a chance to talk to the team yesterday and let them know, but there's a lot of people who have played for you that you're not going to be able to talk with everyone. You're not going to be able to get on the phone and talk with everyone, but is there something you'd want to say to your [00:25:00] former players, to the people who've been part of this program who are always part of this program who are part of the family?
You've said probably some of it, like you're not going anywhere. Is there anything you want to say to them? I want to give you the opportunity.
[00:25:11] Paul: I appreciate that. And I think, you know, I'm collecting myself because I'm a pretty emotional person. I'm trying not to get emotional with it all. But yeah, I mean, it's been an amazing journey.
We've been just as impacted by players, as players have been impacted by us. And that's, that's part of it. Like you want it to be a a transaction where it's a mutually beneficial. Thing and that Marcy and I have been just as impacted by the hundred plus girls who've come through this program.
We've been as impacted as, as they have been impacted by us. So, we feel great about that. And again, just to reiterate, you know, I've always said to our alumni, Once you're in the family, you're always part of the family. And I still, I know that will continue to be true as Baylor. We feel that as we're, as we're transitioning out the way that we've been loved on these last couple of days we're still part of the family too.
So, it's[00:26:00] it's a time of sadness in a way, because it's a change. But I do think like I told the players, there's an opportunity. Anytime there's change, there's also opportunity. And we're, we're jumping two feet into that as a family, into our opportunity and excited about the opportunity that Baylor has to move forward and just encourage, you know, any of our alumni or people that have been associated with our program to, to give Baylor the opportunity.
To prove that there can get to continue to invest so much into these young women as they have in the 14 years that I've been here. I'm truly proud to call this place home and to have been a part of this program for so long and excited about what the future holds for, for this, not only this group that's here, but the way it'll continue to, grow the legacy
that's been left by so many that have come before.
[00:26:48] Phil: No, that's great. So basically what you're saying is they can't get rid of you that. No, I'll be lingering
[00:26:52] Paul: around that guy. So I'll stay out of the way though. Trust me, I will stay out of the way. But I will I, I've got a lot of Baylor gear [00:27:00] and I, don't not ready to get rid of it.
[00:27:02] Phil: So, you know, and one thing I know you guys are going to do is continue the Warrior Way program and the camps that you've started and that, so you'll be in the Waco community active doing that. Is that.
[00:27:14] Paul: Absolutely. You know, we've, we felt such a great calling to, to grow that here in Waco and maybe branch out and do a little bit more with that.
But again, we're in a time of discernment and we don't want to jump so fast into, into something until we know for sure it's what God wants, but the warrior way will go on. It's been an awesome program and so fun to see. What God's doing with that in this community and has been so well received by this community that we're excited to continue to grow that.
And a nonprofit side of that is starting to develop called God in Your Game and see what God does with that as well. So, yeah, we're excited about some of the things we feel like God's already revealed to us. But again, making sure we take the time that he's given us to really sit and, and, and listen, before we jump full throttle into, into what's next.
[00:27:59] Phil: Yep. [00:28:00] And stay tuned folks because Paul and I have been talking about maybe even doing a Warrior Way camp out in California. So if we can talk about
[00:28:06] Paul: exclusive internet,
[00:28:08] Phil: I said, I said, we've been talking it's that? It's, that's what you do to, I think they call it a teaser. It's a teaser. So, and it may be a tease.
It may just be that. That is how exclusive this is. It's a completely not fleshed out at all. And so, but all that to say, I think there's exciting times. That's what I think the summary of it all is, was not on a whim. This is something that has been part of a call and a, it's an exciting, exciting journey of discernment to see where it's going to lead.
So we're you know, You be part of it as we continue our conversations here, you might even, I mean, I'm not going to I'm not pressuring anything, but maybe one of these days, Paul will be able to do another interview that like the one he did with his, his wife. But we'll see, we'll see, I'm [00:29:00] not going to make any promises, but I don't know.
There'll be a little bit of time, so there'll be a little bit of
[00:29:04] Paul: time.
[00:29:05] Phil: So, I'm proud of you. I'm super encouraged by all this. I it's, it's an exciting time, but it's it's hard. It's hard to leave good things. but at the same time, I know personal firsthand that it, it it's exciting to go through these times, but it's also daunting and it's also something that a lot of people don't under.
And that's okay. Because it's your journey and if, as long as you and Marci are on the same page, then I think that's a great lesson for all of us, that it doesn't always make sense to people on the outside, but and they'll make assumptions and they'll probably make other things, but the fact, the matter is, you know, what it is, and it's the right thing for you and for Marci and for your boys.
And I'm excited for you. I can speak for myself on.
[00:29:52] Paul: Well, appreciate that. I think just to sum that up, we're definitely stepping out in faith and I think that from the worldview of it, it [00:30:00] seems crazy. And. Maybe, maybe it is, but I, I'm excited about that crazy when it means, you know, stepping out into the, in the faith and allowing God to do what it is he wants to do.
You know, he called the disciples out of the boat, lay down your nets and let's go I feel a little bit like that to be quite honest, they didn't know what they were stepping into or what was going to happen. They just trusted, they put down their nets and they just trusted it. And I don't think ours is going to be that dramatic probably, but it there's some similarities there where it's like, Hey, let's all right, let's go.
[00:30:28] Phil: Yep. No, I, I can, I'm having a flashback to 2008 when I left the law firm and didn't have a whole lot of money raised for me and my family and just had my fourth kid. And it was just like, don't know what it's going to look like. But now I'm sitting on the other side of 13 years later and going. Glad I made that jump, you know, and it was a lot of amazing things have happened because it was that call.
God was like, all I heard was, do you trust me? And I'm like, I don't know. I guess we're going to find out, you know? And [00:31:00] and we did, you know, and there was a lot of times where I felt totally incompetent, but the the verse Psalm 112:7 he's not afraid of bad news. His heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
That has stuck with me over and over and over. Cause there will be bad news. There will be times where you're sitting there going, did I make the right decision? I don't know. And, but that to get through that, to go, you know, I know God's going to do this. I know it's right. So let's see where it goes. So I look forward to walking that journey with you brother.
And and so, all right, so the last few minutes, I just want a real quick rundown. This, this season, we've had some, it's been a, it's been an interesting second half to this season. We had Jesse Bradley good friend of mine up in Seattle, Washington who had some really cool soccer experiences over in Zimbabwe Scotland.
And now he's a pastor up in Seattle. just a really cool dude. Who's doing some really fun stuff. Zach Hoffman who played the other football over in Europe, which is, I [00:32:00] mean, like what the heck, man? Where are we getting these people? I don't know. It's like just say, yeah, let's get some really cool different diversity is what I wanted.
Then we had a dude from. She was working in Thailand and the, and Burma right there on the border who really didn't play soccer much. But doing some really cool things with the game Aaron Blue over there where they're using the game To get kids off of drugs and help them to flourish.
It's things that we don't necessarily think about, but a great conversation if you did not hear that. And then Kassie Gray, who started Female Footballers, she also played Cal. So I guess I didn't even do this intentionally. This was definitely was not intentional. I did go to Cal for a semester, but we had two former Cal soccer players.
Finish the last two, you know, last two not seasons, but the first half. And now the second half of this season, it's just the way it worked out. Pretty cool. But it's
[00:32:50] Paul: unintentional podcast. Mastery is what?
[00:32:53] Phil: That is pretty much. It pretty much is what it just happens, folks. It just happens. Now. I don't know if we're not even trying, it's just [00:33:00] happening, but that was a fun interview with Kassie, her husband, Kelly.
Played in the MLS, but now has started a club South Bay FC. That that is just a, it's embodying a lot of the principles that we're talking about on this show. And I'm excited to hopefully get him on at some point as well. But talking to Kassie about female footballers and just really empowering women, I know that's a lot of what Tracy Hamm talked about in the first half of season four as well.
Something that I know Paul and I are really passionate about as well is, is elevating the women's game. And, you know, Marci was part of the WUSA and part of coaching and, and being able to do that as well. And to see that, you know, there's, there's, we got a long way to go. We've come a long, long way.
We got a long way to go, and it's exciting to hear what she's doing. So if you didn't listen to those interviews, I encourage you go back and listen to them. But a couple of things I wanted to talk about One of the things was, you talked earlier about coaching is not who you are, right? Like you're a soccer coach, but you're, you're, that's not who [00:34:00] you are.
Doesn't define you. And, and Jesse Bradley talked about that, or you talked about that idea of identity formation, and it's gotta be more than I play soccer. That's who I am. And he learned that when he got immunization over in and got a shot in Africa, He got super sick and he wasn't able to play anymore.
He had ended his career and he realized he went through that. I know my wife, she had four knee surgeries in college when she played, you know, started when she was playing, but ended her career because she had too many, you know, knee surgeries. And she went through that. Like, who am I. Right. You know, and I know that you and I have talked about this with, with our players and people that we, you know, that we're training and we're, we're doing our best to help them understand you're more than that.
This is something that you do really well, but you're more than this, who you are, is more than this. And we want to develop whole people. You know, that's a lot of what CA Cassie gray talked about [00:35:00] as well, the whole player approach. Right. So did you, and what do you think of that? Like, as far as Jesse in that interview, man, I thought it was a great interview all around, but that idea and that identity formation.
Why is it so important as we're coaching these.
[00:35:12] Paul: Yeah, I thought Jessie's interview was fantastic and really enjoyed, you know, his, his story and just how he, you know, navigated those transition moments, you know, when God just kinda throws things at you like that. And how it had kind of formed in him into who he is today and just his, his, his story is really, really good, but, you know, I think.
A lot of that identity piece really just comes down to making sure that as we talk about leaders, we need to know who we are before we can lead others. Right. And I think helping these young people understand who they really are that they're not just soccer players. I did, you know, with, with Kassie she talks about that too, with, you know, that identity of.
Of the young, young people, the young women, you know, who are they, what's important, you know, and I think that that's, that's something that is as coaches and [00:36:00] leaders and parents, that it's important that we put so much stress on. I think our kids at times to be something, to be an athlete or to be, you know, Whatever, and if they don't want to do that, you know, I think we've really got to identify what the, what the true goal of it is.
We're dealing that, you know, with our own kids, I've got one that, you know, he wants to be the best at everything that he's doing, but he doesn't really want to put the work in to do it. So it was kinda like, okay. And then, you know, there's another one that thinks he's the best at everything. But it's like, Hey, to each of them, Hey, you're not, that's not who you are.
You know, you're a child of God. And got. Getting to the root of those talents and abilities are given to you by your creator. That's what makes you, who you are. Get back to the root of who your creator is and embrace those talents and abilities that he's given you and run with them and be, you know, glorify God with those talents that, that, that you have, but understand that God is not [00:37:00] making you a, like for me, he, didn't not say, Hey, you're a soccer coach.
But he's saying, I hear the things that you're, that I'm gifting you with now go run and be faithful with those things. I think that's an important view. I think, shift of like, you know, Hey, we're going to play soccer and we're going to drive you to be, you know, get a college scholarship. All of a sudden kids think, well, that's.
That's who I am, you know, I'm a soccer player and I, if I'm not that, then what am I? And that's a difficult place to put kids in. So helping them navigate that earlier is really, really important. I think, you know, honestly, I think my parents did an amazing job of that as I look back because I, I'm not, you know, I just feel like I, I, I I've said it before at this thing I said earlier in this interview, is that being a college coach was never, you know, who I was.
So being able to step away was easy when I realized that God was. Do something different with my life.
[00:37:51] Phil: Yeah. You know, I mean, I think that is you hit it on the head as far as identity formation and identity. It's so critical. And I talk about it all the time. In the [00:38:00] context of the work I do with orphaned and vulnerable kids is so much of what's caused.
The orphan crisis. And it's also an effect of the orphan crisis is not forming identity and who you are as a man. And as a woman who you truly are, that you have God-given purposes, you have gifts and talents to flourish. You are created to serve. You're created to do things that, you know, only you can do.
And people don't have that. They have a jaded view of identity and they don't, they, they don't have it. I did. And a lot of it comes from fatherlessness because we do get a lot of our identity. We get identity formation from our fathers and there's an emptiness, there's a void. And if we don't have that from God, our father, then that's an, that's a void that you can't fill with anything else.
And so there is a, you know, so it will continually be an emptiness. If we're trying to fill these identity formation voids with soccer or [00:39:00] with grades or with anything else than what's intended to be there. Right. And so that is something that I loved what he talked about, that I know he's got a modules online course on that.
That's free that you can go back to that episode, show notes and check that out. believe it's Jesse bradley.com, but don't, don't quote me on that. Go check out the show notes. so that was something that he, that he talked about that I really, really appreciate. And it's something that we, again, we talk about it all the time, but do you have anything else to add
[00:39:29] Paul: that before?
And I think, yeah, I think, you know, with, with him, I think what's, you hear the story a lot similar to his, of it was my identity and then something happened and ripped it away. And then I was at a crux in my life where I had to figure out okay. What did, who am I? You know, so what, what service could we do to young people for young people, whether it's our kids or kids, we're coaching to say, to start putting that into them earlier.
So they don't have to get to that tragic life-changing moment [00:40:00] to where. You know, who am I? Like? I can't play soccer anymore because of whatever happened or I can't do this because of, you know, something on for me, we hear that story so much that I think it comes back to family. It comes back to home of navigating those waters for our children, but also as coaches, like we don't just because I coach soccer doesn't mean that I'm pouring that identity into a child.
Like it's. This is fun and their lessons, life lessons that can be learned from this, this adventure, but let's not forget who we are and that we're called to serve, and that we're called to, to do all these other things. Play soccer because we've been given that ability. I think we can do a lot of a good, a lot of good in that I think it overlaps even with your conversation with Aaron, when you know, he talked about doing the orphan care and going over there and realizing that, you know, those kids weren't actually orphans, that he was going over to take care of.
They actually had families, but there was no identity in the home. And that gets back to [00:41:00]what you were saying is. Man once he's able to establish that identity in that home, all of a sudden he's changed a life course for, for, for these people. I just found that to be pretty, pretty powerful.
[00:41:12] Phil: Yeah, Absolutely. Absolutely. And the other thing that Aaron brought up was, you know, we, as we, as coaches sometimes it's simply, if, if you went to the, if you listened to the, hopefully you listened to the end of the interview with Aaron, but you know, talking about what he learned from the game, he didn't really play the game much.
He played for a couple of years, but what he realized during the interview, He said that the coach, I encouraged to go listen to it. Cause it was, it was quite a moment, you know, we can't, we can't script these things. It was not scripted by any stretch, but he even emailed me and said, he's still working through some things because from the came out of that, because it's, it's this idea of he said the coach didn't
wreck me. He was, he said, he's, you know, he's on, he, he was the kid who was just staring at the stars, basically. You're staring at the sky as he was playing he's that kid we've all had them [00:42:00]early on. And he said, the coach loved him as a, as a human. And he didn't say those words. Exactly. But that was effectively what he said.
And, and it wasn't about, can you play the game all the way? He can't play the game. So you're written off you're over here? No, he said that he made him part of the team. He made him part of that in, he. Cared about him as a human. And it wasn't about, are you a good soccer player? It wasn't about that. Wasn't the identity.
The identity is you're a kid on this team and he said, the coach didn't wreck me. And we talked about this before we started recording that because the coach didn't wreck him. He was able to start a ministry that actually used soccer to change lives. Whereas if he would have been wrecked by a coach in this game, he would have had a negative connotation with the game itself and he probably would not have even.
brought that as a possibility of what he could use because when he heard, oh, soccer could be a tool, he'd be like, eh, no, thanks too many bad memories. You know? And so sometimes our job, as I said, in that interview, sometimes our job as [00:43:00] coaches not wreck the peop not wreck the kids. Right. It's pretty low bar.
Right. And I say in the young ages, that's probably the. When I go referee eight year old kids and I hear parents yelling and screaming and I hear the coaches yelling and screaming, and I hear dads after the game talking about, oh, your feed, cut. Your kid. Finally got on the board. Good for you.
Congratulations. Like this is, it's been a tough year already. I'm like, are we really missing the point that much? Yeah. And unfortunately I think the answer is yes a lot of times, which is it's one of the reasons we're w you know, we're starting this, this program Coaching the Bigger Game, you know, and the, the sub the subtitle or the motto, or the tagline, whatever it's called elevating significance in sports, like what is true significance and just a spoiler alert.
It's not, not wins and losses. Right. So it's, it's just really this idea of how can we help, as you said, you didn't say it this exactly this way, but we're usually reactive [00:44:00] in, in what we do as coaches, what we do as teams, whatever, what we do in our society, we usually deal with, if they're a symptom, is there a problem?
Is there an issue? How do we solve. Rather than preemptive and proactive to say, how can we build into the players, build into our teams, build into ourselves so that we can avoid having the symptoms of. Right. It's preventative medicine versus reactive medicine. And I think we too often deal with symptoms rather than to foundational root cause root issues that are continually creating symptoms.
So that's something that, you know, we're hoping out of this. This podcast, we're hoping out of the coaching, the bigger game program through the warrior way program, through these other things that we can do, hopefully as coaches out there, the disc training that we do, to be able to avoid conflict by understanding self and others, rather than dealing with conflict after the fact, [00:45:00] which sometimes it's too.
You know, in those situations where it's just there's issues and it's so toxic that you can't do anything about it. Cause it's gotten it's past that point of no return. And we don't want to get to that point because then it ruins the game for people. It ruins the kids themselves. Sometimes it ruins families because, you know, coaches are them.
They become talk as themselves. They try to fix it. So they're spending 24 7 in their office trying to fix these problems rather than at the beginning to say, how can we create a healthy culture? How can we create healthy self first as a coach to start with self, by the way, then how do the program basically.
Coaching self coaching, the individual player, coaching the team, and you can't get that out of order. You can't just go and go. I'm just going to coach the team and use all the tidbits of information I've gathered at reading books and reading stuff and reading the lake, going to the latest webinar.
That's not going to cut it. It's internal work. That's foundational root. The reason why you have had [00:46:00] such success. Baylor, not the reason, but one of the main reasons is, you know, that self-leadership is absolutely critical. You're pouring into self and you know, if you're not healthy, your team's not going to be healthy.
If your marriage isn't healthy, your team's not going to be healthy. If your kids and you aren't healthy. All of that is it's got to start with you. So I don't want to put words in your mouth again, which I do too often, but is that something that you agree with? I mean, would you say that that's something that's been a part of your success?
[00:46:30] Paul: Yeah, for sure. You know, and Marci and I made a commitment to each other, you know, not just getting married, that, that covenant commitment, but we made a commitment early on that, you know, no matter what we were doing, a lot of this had to do with the fact that we got married, took a head coaching job and moved all within the first month or so of marriage was to say, never do all three of those things that we did it, but we made a commitment just to say, Hey, you know, if, if our job or anything that we're doing ever gets in the way of our marriage, [00:47:00] We're out of it.
We're done. And if we were fortunate enough to ever have children that same will apply. And I remember making that commitment to each other way back then, and that's just been a guiding light to us over our career over the last almost 20 years of coaching to navigate that, I mean, so I do think that that, that goes into what, you know, Andy Stanley also to say, Andy Stanley show today, he talks about guardrails.
What are the guard rails you put in your life so that you stay on the road that God wants you on? And that's one of the ones that we put on really early was this is our priority. This is what God is called. To do first and foremost, and that's taking care of self, you know, I've got to have my quiet time.
I've got to take care of me so I can be a better husband, a better dad. I've got to make sure that I encourage Marci to do that too. And her encourage me and all those things so that whatever else God has us doing that is, is a great foundation. It's stable. So anything else is built on top of that? Is it has, it has a chance to, to be successful.
And you know, we talk about faith, family football here, and that, that is, it is a, it is [00:48:00] faith. First family. Second and soccer is last because at the first two are in place, then the football piece, the soccer piece will take care of itself. So yes, self first family first, and then the rest can stack
[00:48:13] Phil: yeah, absolutely.
I remember a interview I did with Peter Greer for the think orphan podcast. Peter runs hope international, a good friend of mine. He wrote a great book called 40/40 Vision, Mission Drift. He's written like ton of books. I can't keep track anymore, but one of the things I remember him telling me and talking to me about was, and it was in, in one of his books, but he he was at a point where his wife was like, you can't do this anymore.
Like it's not, it's not. Being what you need to be as a husband. And he, and so he basically said, okay, he said, I'm going to write my resignation letter and seal it and give it to you. And if I ever do this again, you send it. Yeah, she goes, fortunately, she hasn't sent it yet, but, but it was that serious, right. It was up to her, it [00:49:00] was her call and she had that there and he goes, it's gotta be that way.
I got it. And so since then, it's obviously he realized that he stepped, he, that guard rail wasn't up. And so it was very powerful. I thought so. All right, man. So we always talk about, we're not going to go an hour. And then we do, so we're not going to this time because it's where we're at, you know, not quite there, but while we might, I'm not gonna make any promises, but do you have anything else to add?
As I, after I say that just about anything that we talked about today, is there something you're like, oh man, I wish I would have said this about the initial conversation. Just a reminder, the exclusive conversation Or just the episodes, any other things, tidbits that, that really came up that you really want to point out because we did have some really solid interviews this year.
[00:49:43] Paul: Yeah, to two things. One, just encourage everybody to get, go back and listen to the this full season. It's some incredible stuff, Phil. You're doing an amazing job with, with, with all of that and proud to be a part of it with your brother. And just to say, lastly is just to leave this where it is on this show.
Just say, I've, I've [00:50:00] had a ton of people reach out over the last couple of days, just overwhelmed with the response and just want to show just a ton of gratitude in this moment to everybody who's been a part of. What we've been able to go alongside God with here at Baylor university and just so thankful for, for the years I've had.
And the relationships I'll continue to have out of this have been really, really special. And just thanks for an opportunity to kind of talk through it a little bit, Phil, and share it with our community here on how soccer explains leadership and looking forward to continuing down this path. Also, I just really feel, this is such a great benefit.
To me, but to this community that we continue to do this man. So thank you for your commitment to, to going forward on this.
[00:50:41] Phil: Absolutely man, like I said, I'm proud of you. I'm proud to call your brother and friend and, and I'm, I'm excited that we got to, to have this conversation because that's really important.
I think, to be able to share that with, with folks and for them to be able to hear it. So thanks again for sharing from the heart and for your vulnerability and transparency. All right, folks. Well, once again, we're [00:51:00] wrapping up a season season for the next next few episodes where we're, we're, we're, we're thinking about a few different things to do.
We're probably gonna not have interviews, not have, it would be like the off season talks, but maybe a little different for the holidays. But if if we don't, if we don't talk to you fresh, but before. Before Christmas, have a great Merry Christmas, have a great time celebrating the birth of our savior.
Very much excited to finish off another season right now with you. And once again, I just want to invite you. To if you're not having already done it, join the Facebook group, you know, and, and engage. I really want to have more and more conversations. I'm kind of waiting to build that group a bit more to, to really get dive deep into the conversations.
But I've seen a few of you jump in on the conversations and I want more of that. So we really are, are loved to have. Engagement after the podcast. The other thing, if you, on that note, if you have any guests that you want us to interview and you want it to be a part of their show, email me, [00:52:00]firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don't have Paul's contact info and you want to get him a message, you can send it to me there too. And Also rate V the show, if you haven't done so on apple or wherever, you're listening to this, that helps get the word out, but mostly word of mouth. If you haven't done that already tell people about it.
If it's helping you, I have no doubt it will help other people in your circles. So says, share it with them. And let's get this. Let's just get the show out there more so we can have more people joining in this conversation, but most of the. I hope that your take Paul and I both hope that you're taking what you're learning from this show, what you're learning from our stories, what you're learning from our lives.
And we want to invite you into that and you're using it to help you be a better leader to help you be a better spouse to help you be a better parent and to continually remind you that soccer does explain life and leadership. Thanks a lot. Have a great week.
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 …