March 23, 2023

What Drives Winners with Becky Burleigh, Co-Founder of What Drives Winning and Former University of Florida Women’s Soccer Head Coach

What Drives Winners with Becky Burleigh, Co-Founder of What Drives Winning and Former University of Florida Women’s Soccer Head Coach

In Episode 115, Becky Burleigh, Co-Founder of What Drives Winning, former University of Florida Women’s Soccer Coach (for 27 years), and Methodist College Hall of Famer, talks with Phil and Paul about the life and leadership lessons she learned over...

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In Episode 115, Becky Burleigh, Co-Founder of What Drives Winning, former University of Florida Women’s Soccer Coach (for 27 years), and Methodist College Hall of Famer, talks with Phil and Paul about the life and leadership lessons she learned over the course of her playing career and her extensive coaching career at University of Florida and Berry College, the story behind What Drives Winning, some great WDW principles, her personal why, a defining moment in her career, and making the most of every opportunity. Specifically, Becky discusses:

·     Her personal story, including how she grew her passion for soccer, coaching, and leadership, and how she got to where she is today with What Drives Winning (3:03)

·     Her personal why/mission statement and how she is living it out (9:07)

·     What Drives Winning’s mission and what she hopes people will get out of the great materials WDW produces (10:43)

·     Two key questions that she asks herself every year and why we should do the same (12:55)

·     Why she uses DISC model of human behavior in her work and why she believes all coaches should use it with their teams (18:50)

·     The concept of weak voice vs. strong voice and what we can do about it (26:10)

·     “Struggle really a biological requirement for greatness” – Really? (28:10)

·     Her defining moment and how it impacted her development (32:44)

·     What advice she would like to give her 25-year-old self (38:16)

·     The importance of finding a “thinking partner” (41:34)

·     The good, bad, and ugly of US Soccer (46:55)

·     How she has used lessons learned from the game in her relationships outside the game (53:48)

·     Her recommendations (48:05)

Resources and Links from this Episode

·     What Drives Winning Website

·     Uncut Video of the Episode

·     HSEL Facebook Group

·     Warrior Way Soccer

·     Coaching the Bigger Game Program

·     Phil’s email for DISC Training

·     The Talent Code: Greatness isn’t born. It’s Grown. Here’s How, by Daniel Coyle

·     The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Teams, by Daniel Coyle

·     What Drives Winning: Teams, by Becky Burleigh and Brett Ledbetter

·     “Welcome to Wrexham” (Hulu)

·     “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+}

·     “38 in the Garden” (HBO Max)


Phil: Welcome back to How Soccer Explains Leadership. Thanks again for being a part of the conversation. I'm Phil Darke, your host. I got with me, my brother, my teammate, Paul Jobson. And you know, once again, we have another great interview coming your way. We got Becky Burleigh with What Drives Winning.

You've probably heard of her and What Drives Winning. She does that with Brett Ledbetter, some amazing, amazing stuff. I've just been binging the last week in preparation. It's been like my, some of my favorite research from an interview for an interview I've ever done. And you know, Paul, I just, you know, we were talking a little bit about your introduction to Becky and in, in the, in the soccer world at least.

And so, you know, tell us a little bit about.

[00:00:40] Paul: Well, it wasn't my introduction to Becky. Everybody knows who Becky is. But when Marci and I came and took over at Baylor, one of our first preseasons, Becky was nice enough to let us come down and play an exhibition against her team and welcomed us kindly to Power Five Conference soccer.

It was a great we definitely accomplished what we were trying to accomplish with our team, which [00:01:00] was, Hey, you wanna play at this level? This is what it's gonna look like, and this is where we're trying to get. So she kindly obliged us and nicely introduced us to Power Five Soccer. And later on we went down for a NCAA tournament down at University of Florida and met up against North Carolina there.

But as hosts, they're fantastic hosts. Becky always, always ran a great program. It's very well respected and always welcoming to people and always engaging. So always appreciated. And Marci always has great things to say about Becky too. So I'm excited to get to talk to her about What Drives Winning and, and her career and her success over the years.

So it's gonna be as always something that I'm gonna take great pleasure in having another interview with amazing person in our, in our game. So I'm looking forward to it.

[00:01:38] Phil: Yeah, so we got that. We'll get to Becky here in a second. Becky is a graduate of Methodist College and she coached at Berry College, a little college there in Rome, Georgia.

Also little known fact may, might not be little known anymore. That's where the Chick-fil-A Winshape center is. So if you like Chick-Fil-A, you know, I don't think this will have anything to do with that, but that's okay. That's there. And we [00:02:00] also, you know, she spent 27 years at the University of Florida. Now with What Drives Winning.

So Becky, how are you doing today?

[00:02:08] Becky: I'm doing great. I'm excited. And Paul, I will say, you know, you guys introduced us to stuff too. Your teams are always like the biggest competitors ever, so thanks for that.

[00:02:18] Paul: You bet. You bet. If we can compete, we've always got a chance, right?

[00:02:21] Becky: That's right. That's

[00:02:22] Phil: right.

That's exactly right. That's the one. 100%. So, we'll, we'll get into a lot of these, these principles today. Before we get into a lot of the great leadership stuff that I know will come through this interview, you know, we, I, I get introduced a little bit of the, of the, the stats, kind of the resume there, Becky, but can you just share, briefly, share your story, you know, be the story behind the, the resume of, you know, how you developed your passion for soccer, for coaching, for, for leadership, and, and really how you ended up coaching coaches through what drives winning.

[00:02:53] Becky: Well, you know, my, my journey for coaching is one that I really always hesitate to share because it's just so unrealistic [00:03:00] nowadays. But in that era it was a little different. So I actually started playing soccer when I was 10. My parents moved from Massachusetts to Florida, and where we lived in Massachusetts was in the middle of nowhere.

So when we moved to Florida, we moved across the street from the soccer field. And I had never played soccer before. Never played a team sport before never even an organized sport before. So it was just a great place to spend a lot of time. My parents were like, go, just be over there all day. And that's what I did.

And because I lived across the street from the soccer field, whenever we would have new players join our youth team, they would always say, Hey, if you wanna do a little extra to go see Becky. So I feel like I like started coaching at like 11. But then when I went to college, my, my college coach was Joe Perrera and he.was a big developer of players. He worked with the Olympic Development Program for quite some time. At that time was a big deal and he kind of allowed me to get some experience with him as a college athlete. I got to coach and so then that gave me my opportunity to go to Berry. I literally graduated [00:04:00] from Methodist in May, became the head coach at Berry in June.

And despite the fact that Berry was like this, you know, small NAIA school at the time, they were really good because Ray Leon had coached them. They had won a national championship two years before. So Ray left me a great deal of talent to take on. And then was at Berry for five years when the Florida's job opened.

And Florida was pretty I guess proactive in the way that they handled their job and hired me. I had a year to build the program and then we started a year later and then stayed there for the whole rest of the time.

[00:04:33] Phil: Yeah. And so how did, how did it go from, okay, we're coaching at Florida and then how'd that work with, with What Drives Winning?

And how'd that all come to come to be?

[00:04:44] Becky: Yeah, that's actually a very interesting story. So Brett Ledbetter, who's now my business partner, and what drives winning, he's a basketball background, so I'm not sure our would've ever crossed, but I was at this conference in New York City and Daniel Coyle was speaking.

He wrote the Culture Code, the Talent [00:05:00] Code, both really good books if you haven't read those. And afterwards I went up to him and I said, Hey, you know, it would be great if you were ever in Gainesville, like to come speak to our team thinking, I mean, Daniel Coyle lives in Alaska, so like, what are the chances?

But you never know unless you ask. Yeah, that's right. And so I, he said, oh, I was just in Gainesville like two weeks ago. And I was like, what? And so he knew mark Dagal, who was on our men's basketball staff with Billy Donovan. The crazy thing was, I, I didn't know Mark and I felt like I knew everybody at Florida.

Cause I've been there a long time at this point. This was only like 10 years ago. And so I looked up Mark on the little staff directory and found him and I called him and I was just like, Hey, like wanna get coffee? And he obliged. And so then he introduced me to Brett because he was very interested in Brett's academy that he was running for fifth to 12th grade basketball players in St. Louis. And so I went up there and sort of the rest became history. I invited Brett to come down and work with my team. The other coaches at Florida really enjoyed what he was saying. [00:06:00] We started this head coach's collaboration at Florida and the beauty was, is like I got access to all this information that was basically everything to do with coaching except the xs and o's from all these different sport coaches.

And it was like a free education that I could use with my team while I was coaching and then just transitioned into that after I was done coaching.

[00:06:22] Phil: Yeah. That's so cool. And you know, Paul, I, I don't know about you, but I'm sensing this theme in the last you know, well, I mean, pretty much all over the, the podcast, but this theme of ask, you never know what might happen.

Right. You know, you just, worst they can say is come across that quite a bit. Yeah. Yes, yes. And, you know, we talked Yeah,

[00:06:39] Becky: I can lemme tell you that, that, that's a really good point because the person who set the tone for me with that was Anson Dorrance. Mm-hmm. , when I was coaching at Berry, you know, I mean, who, who does Anson know who I am at Methodist College and then Berry College.

And I asked him if I could come observe training and he said yes. And then I found out that he says yes to anyone who asks. And I was just like, [00:07:00] dang, it's Anson can do that. Like, I gotta step up my game and let people do that. You know, like that was, that made a really big impact on me.

[00:07:08] Phil: Yeah, definitely.

Paul, did anybody ever ask you to come watch your training? All the time. Okay. All the time.

[00:07:13] Paul: All right. And good. You know, and never came back. So it was kind of a one and done when they came to watch our training, but No, but it, I, I'll tell you a funny story on that. I thought of it in an earlier podcast and didn't share it, but we had a young woman at Baylor that was in a grad program and just called Marci and said, Hey, I just wanna come observe practice.

You know, I'm in a class, I just, you won't even know I'm there. I'm gonna sit in the stands. I love soccer, blah, blah, blah. Marci's like, sure, come on out. No problem. Never thought twice about it. A few weeks later, Chuck, our assistant, comes over and goes, who's that girl in the stands? And we had totally forgotten.

So we're like, Chuck, go figure it out. Go see who it's, make sure it's not a spy from TCU. Okay? Make sure that we're being spied on. Anyway, goes over, yeah, Marci said I could come, blah, blah, blah. Long story short, Anna ends up becoming a manager on our team. Anna ends up becoming an assistant coach for us.

Our goalkeeper [00:08:00] coach Anna, goes on to be an associate head coach at another university and now is, is working at Dallas Baptist. So out of nowhere we, we've got a best friend who just called one day and said, Hey, can I just come observe practice? And, and kinda launched her, coaching career as well.

So you do, you never, you never know. . But it's, it's, and also definitely worth a call

[00:08:19] Phil: on that note too, when people call you coaches out there listening, other people out there listening take the call, you never know mm-hmm. , who they may introduce you to, you never know what you could teach them and where they could end up being Right.

You never know what you could be a catalyst for. So that's something that I, I love that story. Love that story. Love. I mean, all that.

[00:08:37] Paul: I've had plenty of responses. Becky, probably you too. Like, I can't believe you even answered my email. I can't believe you even returned my phone call. Mm-hmm. . I'm like, well, you called me.

So , Becky threw all this. I think we're kind of weaving into some of this too, but before we get into a lot more of like your story and, and, and, and everything, what's, what's your personal why? Why do you do what you do and how, how are you living that?

[00:08:57] Becky: You know, I, my parents, neither of 'em went to [00:09:00] college and no one in my family has been to college.

And so when I went to school, like I always knew I wanted to go to college, but I had no idea of like majors and like, you know, I just didn't have any concept of that. And so I only knew like, the things I saw. So the first thing I wanna do is I thought, well, maybe I'll be a teacher because I really wanted to coach.

But my parents were like, that's not really a real job. Like, you know, my dad used to always say like, soccer's not gonna pay the bills. And so I thought, well, I could be a teacher and then maybe I could coach, you know, in addition to that. And so, When I got into the coaching side of it, which Joe gave me that opportunity while I was still in college.

Like, I was like, dang, like coaching is like teaching, but like magnified because you're with them through so many highs and lows and it's emotional and it's challenging and, and so then that just sparked in me, like, I, I wanna be part of this going forward. I, I think my coaches always had a big impact on me.

I had a female high school coach, which at the time was super rare. Yeah. I had Joe as my [00:10:00]college coach and I mean, just people who really impacted me personally and I thought, man, if I could even do part of that for somebody, I'd be really happy with my contribution.

[00:10:12] Paul: I like that. We as that, as that kinda kinda leads into, What drives winning a little bit, and I'm sure there's a lot of overlap into kind of what you just said and teaching and, and, and being kind of a mentor type thing.

But what, what is, what's the mission and what drives winning and what do you hope all the leaders will get outta the materials that you and Brett are producing?

[00:10:33] Becky: Oh, that's a big question. Hit heavy hitters right from the start. I love it. We did going. Yeah, we did. Going . I think that though, the whole point behind what drives winning is to help people create a platform where they can coach themselves.

And we have like some pillars that we do that with like self-awareness and character development and leadership and all those different things. But in the end, like, I think. . A lot of times we, like, as coaches, [00:11:00] we think of coaching and we immediately go to x's nos. And you know what I've learned the most of being in this front row seat of what drives winning for I guess almost 10 years now is like every coach of every sport is dealing with the same issues.

And it's those human related issues that really impact performance even more so than the X's and o's. And I'm not trying to discount, like you gotta have a good process for sure, but like when you see coaches losing their jobs or you see teams that are struggling to have cohesion, like it's, it's almost always human related issues.

And for me, like the big aha moment is like, why is coaches do we spend 90 or 90 plus percent of our time on X's and O's when our team is telling us that these are the issues that are gonna get in the way? And so I think trying to help coaches work through that, that's, that's a real, that's a real passion project of mine.


[00:11:54] Paul: That I, I'll. . I'm a big proponent of that too. And I think things that are constant themes on this podcast, one [00:12:00] is, you know, know yourself first. So coaching, coaching yourself and your bow to lead others better, obviously. And then, you know, just the idea of, you know, so many coaches we've had on here, they're not talking about the X's and O's and what make them successful.

It's those relationships. It's, it's knowing your knowing yourself, right? And knowing your players and, and being able to get the most out of them. They, they'll be able to produce on the field the X's and O's and the, the concepts and, and all of those things. If they, if they feel like one, they're, they're believed in, right?

And, and not, not falsely right. That, but that's, it's a productive relationship. So I love, I love, I love that. Yeah. Recently Phil, you got anything to add on that? I was gonna jump into another question, but I sometimes I just keep driving, you know.

[00:12:41] Phil: No, that slow down. You know that. No, keep going.

Keep going. You're on

[00:12:45] Paul: a. Oh, we're rolling. All right. I'm, we're rolling, Becky. We're gonna keep going. Love it. On this is more just kind of a, kind of on the personal side of things. You posted recently on Twitter. There's two questions you ask yourself at the end of every year, right? And I don't have to tell you what they're, but I'll tell our [00:13:00] listeners what they are.

One, what do I need to create in this new year? And perhaps two more importantly, what do I want to let go of? Why these questions? And if appropriate, can you, can you share how you answered 'em this year? And if not, no big deal,

[00:13:11] Becky: but why those questions? No. Well, first of all, I think I stole those questions from someone else.

I, I, that's most of my, I I think a lot of stuff I that we'll talk about I have stolen from someone else, . But I think that's another common


[00:13:21] Paul: by the way, on this podcast. So you're good. .

[00:13:24] Becky: I think those questions are really interesting is because you know, contribution is, is an important theme for me.

Like even, you know, people are like, well, how are you enjoying retirement? And I'm like, I don't know if this is like really retirement, it's just like something different. But contribution is a big driver for me. Like how can I contribute? And then I think the second part is like a lot of times our contribution is limited by the things that we can't let go of.

So for example, I was listening to a podcast last night and it was Abby Wambach and Adam Grant, and she was talking about letting go of her athletic identity in order to move [00:14:00] into a more fuller dimensional person. Because as an athlete you're so, you know, you have to be like very one dimensional to be successful at the level that Abby was.

And I feel like as coaches sometimes that's the case too. Like I, I honestly feel like I came through a very long coaching career relatively unscathed because I was a little bit more of a multidimensional person, but that wasn't without feedback at times of like, Hey, like. Does she need to be more focused?

Does she need to be, you know, like more laser on the things that are, like what people think about as coaching? I always looked at it as the more the more I can bring good energy to my team, that's a competitive advantage that others who might be, you know, soccer, soccer, soccer until two in the morning and then getting up at six and starting the whole process again like that, that was not my mo.

But I feel like it's hard to fight against that [00:15:00] tide of what society's telling you. We, you know, we, we talk a lot about mental health and athletes. Lemme tell you, I, I teach a class at UF now and trying to find research on coach mental health is not easy. Mm-hmm. , I mean, we just had the one that just came out by the ncaa, but it's, it's a challenge because it's not something that's really being addressed very much.

Yeah. And I think it's, it's starting to, but like, , how do you, how do you regulate your own self? Like what you said in order to bring the best for your team, and sometimes that means letting go of things, , right?

[00:15:35] Phil: Yeah. So what did, did you, did you go through that exercise yourself? Did you, did you do that this year

[00:15:41] Becky: as far as letting go of things?

Two, just asking those questions. Yeah. The two questions. Yeah. I mean, I think the two questions for me is, it's not even a yearly thing. It's kind of just like a all the time thing. Mm-hmm. , how do you, what, what is it like, what are the highest priorities in terms of what I want to create and put into the world?

[00:16:00] And also what's holding me back from doing that? And most of the time, what's holding you back from doing that is something of your own, like something you need to let go of. It's not necessarily something.

[00:16:10] Phil: Yeah. Yeah. You know, on that note, one I, yesterday I was at a, I was at a an FCA talk at a, my kid's high school.

And the, the speaker, Danielle Viglione, she played for the Sacramento Monarchs. She was, her stats were crazy. She went through some of 'em, just got her number, retired, all this stuff. And she was talking about how an 11 year old kid was asked the question, or it was, they were playing apples to apples. And it was like, what's the most destructive thing?

It was destruction was the, was the word in apples to apples. And the two things that were, they were going between this kid, 11 year old kid was going between, was a level five hurricane or voices in my head. and the kid, 11 year old cho chose voices in my head. And it was just this, just poignant.

I mean, but so that's, that goes for everybody, right? Like they are so, can be so destructive. So get rid of the, [00:17:00] a lot of those negative side of things. And by the way, one of my favorite books is Steal Like an Artist. You know, this, this book is just so beau, it's a short book too. And, but it just talks about that idea that the best ideas in history were conglomerations of, of multiple ideas.

They weren't some new, there's nothing new under the sun, right? So you got these ideas and so often we say, we gotta create this novel thing that is brand new. And it's like, no, we don't, we just need to take the best ideas and make 'em. and, and, and it's not even necessarily, you make 'em different maybe, is the better, better word, right?

To be able to say, how can we make this our own, in our particular context at this particular time with these particular people? What does that look like? Musicians, you know, you look at Metallica, they said one of their most biggest influences was Mozart. And people don't think about that. You go, wait, what?

How is Metallica mo? But because it's just music and how do you create music and what's the theory behind it? And so how can we use that? And I, you know, and that's what I talk a lot of people don't reinvent the wheel. [00:18:00] The, you know, how can we take these great ideas like what you're doing with, with what drives winning and use that in our particular context.

And as you said, that's what you're wanting them to do is take this and don't just do it and go do it like I did it. No, you're gonna do it differently. . Right. And so, you know, let, let's just kind of get into that, get into the, the, the, what drives winning a little bit deeper and before we get into what drives winning specifically, cause I did have a couple concepts I do wanna touch on there, but I also know that you use DISC and, and I and our, our proponent of that.

So am I, we've talked about that a lot on the, on the show, but, you know, can you just talk a little bit about that and you know, how you use DISC, why you value it, and why you think coaches and teams should be using it? .

[00:18:40] Becky: Yeah. I, I love disc. I actually got certified in DISC because it was so important to me to have an in-depth understanding of it.

And I've done all of 'em, like Myers Briggs Enneagram I mean, you name it. Mm-hmm. . The reason I like DISC is because of the simplicity of the language. And I think it's so easy to remember what the D I S C [00:19:00] are. It's so easy to recognize the patterns of behavior when you see them. Like, I could, you know, meet 10 people today and probably give you a reasonable idea of where they fall in d i s and C and that informs me as to the best way to.

be able to reach them. You know, and I had, I learned so much. I mean, I think we learn so much usually from the people who are very different from us. And I can remember we had a player at Florida who's still playing now pro player. And she was like one of the highest Cs I've ever seen. So it's, the CS are very conscientious, they're very data driven.

They are very thoughtful. And so whenever we would have a meeting together and I would ask her a question, I would say something like, Hey, what's, you know, what's the most important thing we should be talking about right now? Total silence. And me in my eye, ind would be like trying to supply a multiple choice, answer for her to, to pick from.

Whereas if you understand [00:20:00] disk, then you're like, give them a little time and space to come up with the answer, because when they answer that, it's gonna be really thoughtful and a really good answer. Whereas the i r D is gonna throw out the first thing that comes to their mind, but may not even be the most important thing you should be talking about.

So I just felt like I learned so much. . And I think what sold it for me was when I had a few players say that when they were on like job interviews, that they would talk about disk and their own self-awareness as well as their awareness of their teammates. And it just blew people outta the water in their interview because they're like, wow.

Like we have people who worked here for 20 years that don't have that awareness. And so I. , when you can create more awareness about yourself as well as the people that you are surrounded with, good things are gonna come on that.

[00:20:45] Phil: Yeah. You know, and I, I love that I've done, you know, some trainings with some different teams and and on that note, I, I love teaching the players and the coaches.

Like, this is something you'll use on this team, but more importantly, this is something you'll use in your life. You'll use it in those job [00:21:00] interviews and how can you use it in a job interview and kind of talk to 'em about that a little bit. And how will you use it in your, in your marriage and your parent?

How will you do that? Because, and hopefully that's what we're doing with all the lessons we're doing, but I say the same thing about disc. It's the simplicity that makes it so powerful. And so are there specific ways that you used it, like, you know, to, to help retain, I mean, you talk about that with the, with the high C.

Paul's a high C, so he was saying Amen in his head. He didn't actually say it out loud, but but it was coming. It was coming, but yeah. Yeah. 10 minutes or so. But but. , are there different ways? Because I, I know I've actually done my informal study on this, and I actually spoke about it at the, at the United Soccer Coaches Convention, but we're, we tend to be losing our Is and our Cs at the highest levels.

And the, the percentages are there that it's, it's way lower than the national averages and the Ds are way higher, which is not surprising given that they're, they're results driven, but the ss are, are right around where they should be because they like being on teams. But is there a way to [00:22:00]motivate those I and those Cs that you can see and to, to retain them?

[00:22:05] Becky: Well, you know, I think the cool thing about this too is it's just behavior, right? It's so, it's, it's it's ability to learn those behaviors and to integrate those behaviors into your environment are always accessible to everyone. For some people it's more natural, but for everyone it's accessible. And I think that, you know, when you think about it, like, especially if you think about the eyes like.

You wanna have eyes on your team in the sense of like, they're your people who are enthusiastic, optimistic, you know, they're, they bring energy to your team. And how do you reward that without discouraging the behaviors that eyes also have that are like, you know, you're explaining something at practice and they're like, squirrel.

You know, like, you just, you have to live with both because everybody's strength is their weakness at the same time. And then I think with the Cs, it's like, you know, like I think about in soccer, like a high C, like let's say you have a complex set piece. [00:23:00] They know their role, they know everybody else's role, and they're really pissed when someone doesn't know their own role.

Mm-hmm. , you know? Mm-hmm. , but. , the, the detail that is required is important for things to be executed. Again, like the flip side of that is the Cs are gonna overthink things sometimes. So like helping them understand like, let's try to make the best decision in the limited time we have, as opposed to the best decision overall, because that could take hours or days.

And so I, what I love about DISC is like trying to put people in the roles that they're most comfortable. So like, I am not gonna take a high S and say, Hey, I need you to go get on her for doing this, because that's gonna be super uncomfortable for them. You know? Yeah. But I might say to an S, Hey, can you sort of get a vibe for like why that person is thinking like that?

Like, can you be a little supportive in that situation? They will love that because that's right in their wheelhouse. Mm-hmm. . So to me it's. [00:24:00] Finding ways to put people in their most comfortable situations, but also getting them to realize that they can expand outside of those roles, but not in a place that's gonna cause them, like tons of stress in doing it.

And I think as coaches, when we're not aware of what people are, sometimes we're putting people in stressful situations without even knowing it. I, I'll give you a great example. I, I teach a class at UF right now with athletes and there's one athlete that every time he writes, it keeps coming up that like, clearly his coach wants him to be a more vocal leader and he's not, you know, he's just not, and.

It is affecting how his coach is viewing him and how his team is viewing him in some ways because they're asking him to be in this role that's not his strength. So he is probably not great at it yet. And so how, instead could you put him in a role of accountability still but within his strength set.

And I think as coaches sometimes we, we [00:25:00] look past that. Like I, I can think of coaches I've had even that always thought the leaders should be loud, vocal, hardworking, like get everybody going. And they overlooked somebody who maybe had really strong leadership skills, but just they didn't present themselves in the same way that they wanted it to look.


[00:25:19] Phil: Yeah. You know, we could, I could, as you, as you know, Paul, I could talk about this for hours and hours, but we're not going to, we're gonna, we're gonna, we're gonna move on as much as I want to dig in. We got a lot more to get to, and I know I want to get to that stuff too. But one of the things you talk about on it was, I think it was either on Twitter or something, I'd heard on the, what drives winning, but it doesn't really matter where I heard it, but this idea of the weak voice and the strong voice thoughts, I think you said it was one of your favorite videos and it was somebody else again.

But but what, you know, what is that all about? You know, can you talk about that concept that the company exercise where you kind of talk about the, you know, you, you, write lists about them and what you notice about them. What, can you just talk through that and, and why it's important for.[00:26:00]

[00:26:00] Becky: Yeah. That, that was that strong voice, weak voice. It's on YouTube if you wanna look it up. It's Sue Enquist, who used to be the softball coach at UCLA. She's iconic coach. Amazing. Mm-hmm. . And what I love about that video is she shows all these weak voice thoughts, what people have written down as their weak voice.

Like, I'm not good enough. I don't know if I can make it like all these things. And then it shows who those are attached to, like Olympic champion or you know, NCAA Player of the Year. And it just shows us that like everyone has weak voice thoughts. Even those people who you think, how impossible for them to have weak voice look at all they've done.

And so I think it's, it's like how, how can we as coaches create platforms for people to tame their negative inner voice, if that's what they have, and build a positive inner voice. Because ultimately, you know, I think we all have pretty good advice for ourselves if we take it [00:27:00] or if we have a platform to deliver it to ourselves.

But so often, you know, we listen to the outside or we give too much credence to what other people are doing instead of trying to problem solve for ourselves and listening to our own advice. And I think that's one of the beauties of that, that idea of that video is like, man, you know, you, you can, you can give yourself some pretty good advice, but you gotta take it.

And if you don't take it, then why would anyone else listen to you?

[00:27:26] Phil: Yeah. No, that was, that was really powerful when I watched it. And one of other things that was really powerful is it says, you know, always make sure your strong voice gets the last word. Right. And I, I really, really like that. And then the other one is, and this is something we talk a lot about on this, on this show too, is just this idea of, of overcoming adversity and resilience and the importance of that in, in players and how oftentimes our, our youth are not getting that now because of various different reasons that we could talk about.

But what I wanna talk about is this quote that's a struggle is a biological requirement for greatness. Can you speak about that for a little bit?

[00:27:59] Becky: [00:28:00] Yeah. You know, that came from the what drives winning teams book when Brett was working with I believe it was the Gonzaga men's basketball team in that particular instance.

And you know, it's like if you had a team that was really talented and your schedule consisted. 10 games that were, you could easily win versus 10 games that were gonna really challenge you. Like if you were trying to compete for a championship at the end of that, which would you pick? And most coaches are gonna pick the challenging schedule because you know, you have to get tested in order to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

But then when we're in the adversity, like individually or as a team, we're just like, this sucks. Like, and if we don't wanna be in it, you know? But I think if we can reframe that to like, okay, like this is a great time of year to be in this because it's giving us reps at dealing with the adversity when it's not do or die in the NCAA tournament or the playoffs or whatever.

And I think it's, it's like welcoming the adversity as a growth [00:29:00] point as opposed to looking at it as like, I don't wanna be in this, you know, there, there's another great video. Landry Fields. He's the president in GM of the Atlanta Hawks. He talks about being in the pit. And it's an interview. Again, it's on YouTube, but it, he, he says it so eloquently.

I wish I could go through the whole thing, but he ties in like the hero's journey and this athlete development model. And it's, it's almost like the question I would ask is like, why don't we at, you know, expect adversity on our journey? And we don't like you If you ask athletes that question, like, no one plans for adversity, but we all know it's gonna happen.

We all know we're gonna face it at some point. But I think I was talking to a, a office made of mind and he was saying how. Sometimes they don't wanna think about the adversity because they think that's gonna create the adversity. Hmm. It's almost like this ultimate optimism [00:30:00] that if the, if I don't think about it, then it's not gonna happen, but we know it's gonna happen , you know?

And so again, like trying to reframe the idea of adversity as a bad thing into something that's actually gonna help us grow and be a requirement for greatness in the end. Yeah, I

[00:30:17] Paul: think, I think we're, we've started to, I don't wanna say create a culture, but there's so many avenues where we're trying to help athletes avoid those struggles at times.

Cuz we know they don't wanna struggle. So we're like, how do we best, you know, keep them from struggle. But I think we're hurting 'em in the long run. You know, I, I've had players that I've recruited. , they're not on campus yet and they tear their tear, their a c l or whatever. And I just say, Hey, listen, this might be the best thing that's ever happened to you.

Cause you have the opportunity to come back stronger than you ever have. If this happened to you while you're in college, you would absolutely think your life is over. You know, I, I almost hate it when kids show up on campus and they've never had an injury. You know, it's like, cuz they're gonna get hurt.

Right. You know, it's a, it's inevitable. Mm-hmm. , it may be just an ankle sprain, but they've never [00:31:00] had it before and their career is over , you know, but the kid that comes in that's had a little bit of adversity, that's had to fight back from a an ACL or a, a high ankle sprain or whatever it may be, they tend to be a little bit more, more resilient down the stretch.

They've had it taken away. They know what that feels like. They've fought to get it back. They've struggled through. and always encourage those players. You gotta share that, right? Share your strong voice. When others are thinking their, their weak voice, they've gotta share that. So I I, I love that concept as we talk about that struggle and we talk about how it, it can make you stronger.

I think it's, I don't think we can say it enough, because I think even as parents sometimes we don't want our kids to struggle, you know? And I don't, I don't want my kids to struggle, but, you know, when I make my nine year old call his wrestling coach and tell me he's not coming to practice, that's like devastating to him.

But he's gotta go through it, right? So, anyway, I could, I could talk for hours about,

[00:31:51] Phil: that's on from that too. Anything Paul could talk about for hours. Folks, you gotta listen cuz that's, that's something.

[00:31:57] Paul: Hey, I'm, I'm short, so when I find a soap box, I [00:32:00] like to stand on it. It helps me . So anyway anything else on

[00:32:03] Phil: that, Phil?

No, that's good. No, let's, let's, let's keep it going. Yeah.

[00:32:08] Paul: Becky, I wanna, I wanna dive into to just your career and your development as, as you know, how you kind of have become who you are and back in your soccer just your soccer career as a player. Was there a defining moment that you had as a player that, that, that just kind of was very impactful to you, into your development?

You can even go back to this point in your life and go that, that was a moment that really changed the trajectory of, of who I am.

[00:32:34] Becky: You know, I was I wasn't a really great player. It's actually a kind of a running joke at Methodist College ‘cause I got inducted into the Hall of Fame there and my college teammates are like, this is a bunch of BS.

Like, it's clearly because you're coaching in Florida which, when, when teammates like that, who, you know, you keep you grounded those are real teammates. Becky. Those are real. That's right. Teammates. That's right. Yeah, that's right. But I think that, I think for me, you know, like the big, the big defining moment for me was [00:33:00] actually being able to go play college soccer because I knew I really wanted to do it.

And like I said, I had no path laid out before me. Didn't really have a whole lot of guidance in getting there, but to Paul's point, you know, I, my parents are kind of like, well, if you can figure it out, you can do it. You know, and so they didn't, they didn't, they weren't lawnmower parents or helicopter parents because they didn't have the experience to get there, which gave me like, confidence to know that I could figure that out.

So, you know, I sort of was my own one woman you know, marketing firm and sent stuff out to people. And, and finally like the, the funny story about Methodist is that Joe came to watch our goalkeeper, this was high school soccer, to watch our goalkeeper. And he then saw a forward on our team too, who happened to be like my best friend on the team.

So the goalkeeper was all American, like kind of a lot of people knew about her and the coach was the goalkeeper's mom. So after he comes and [00:34:00] watches us play, he talks to the coach and says, yeah, I for sure want the, your daughter, the goalkeeper, and I would love to get this forward. And so the coach says, well, there's this other player, that was me.

Like she's really, really interested. And so, there was probably more to it than this, but the joke amongst our Methodist people is that Joe said to me like, Hey, if you can get those two to come, then you can come too . And so, I did, they both went and unfortunately they both transferred after the first year , so he was stuck with me

But I think that was like such a defining moment, not so much even the opportunity, although that was huge, but it was more the process of like, I had to figure out like how to get myself recruited, how to pay for college once I got there, how to like, make it work even once I was there. And, you know, again, different era.

So I'm not trying to like the old days or anything, but you know, I, I had to have like multiple jobs on campus to, to get paid so I could, like, I could be an [00:35:00] RA so I could get a free room. I could work in the cafeteria so I could get free food, you know, and just finding ways to be resourceful. I think that just set the tone for me, like for the rest of my life because, you know, getting yourself to college and paying for college, like that's a pretty big deal.

And it gave me like confidence that I could solve a lot of things if I just put my mind to it, not just one.

[00:35:24] Phil: Yeah. You know, it's funny cuz as, as an id you used your strengths, right? You used that ability to, to, to gather, to, you know, that, that connection, to be able to say, Hey, I'll, I'll do what I gotta do to make it happen.

I'm gonna get my friends to go with me. I'm gonna inspire them to play for this school that they may have never heard of. And that's okay. You know, and, and that's, that's, I love that because oftentimes the route and the path is not what you'd expect it to be. And it's not always the, the straight obvious path.

You know, o usually it's not probably in life, you know, usually it's the hard. A hard [00:36:00] path that's, that's gonna be weaved, it's gonna be ups and downs. It's going to be some weird thing that happens. That's why I tell people all the time, they're, you know, this recruiting journey, they're freaking out.

They're going, oh, I gotta do this. I gotta have a freshman. What do I need to be doing tomorrow to be go thinking, I'm like, play and have fun and be a high school kid. That's what you need to do today. And you know, because the reality is what I've seen more often than not, it's a weird story on how you get to where you are and you end up where you're supposed to be at the end of the day.

And, and we stress so much about these things, and I'm not saying don't do the work. And I'm not saying it's hardware. It, of course, all those things apply. But at the end of the day, enjoy life and enjoy the journey and focus on the process as we've heard about in the in, in, throughout this podcast. You know, the outcome.

It will take care of itself when you do those things really, really well and you enjoy it, usually 99 times out of a hundred. And so that's, that's something I think that goes to a lot of the [00:37:00] things we've talked about. And that's not just like, oh, la la Land pipe dream thing. It's just, it's, it's, and use the contacts you have, you know?

I think all those things came into that story there really. And, and and you know, obviously have your goals, have your things and pursue 'em with all you got. Now kind of go to the coaching side of it. You've been, you've, you coached for a really long time. And you know, Paul isn't quite as old as, as I am, and you know, you, you have probably a couple more years, but this idea of we, what, we hear this question a lot, but what, knowing what you know now, knowing the, the just so many amazing leaders that you've been able to talk with and watch and listen to and seeing the best athletes and the clips and all these different things what would you love to be able to go back and tell your, now?

I, I, I think in the allies of 25, but it probably, what, 22 or 21 year old self, whatever it was when you started coaching what would you, and even when you got to Florida at this bigger [00:38:00] gig, right? Like what would you love to be able to go back and tell yourself and and tell young coaches in the process?

[00:38:06] Becky: Hmm. That's a, that's a great question. I, I would say this . Sometimes ignorance is bliss. So like there was a lot of things that I didn't know about coaching that probably benefited me. Like for example, when I was at Berry, I would recruit kids that like North Carolina was recruiting. Mm-hmm. , like I don't know what I was thinking.

you know, like, but I just didn't know any better. Yeah. But occasionally you might get one, you know? Right. And so then that's the ignorance is bliss is beautiful, but then there's also this part of like, make sure that you are modeling your habits from healthy people, because it's not easy always in our profession to find people who have a healthy relationship with their profession or their sport.

And if you're always like looking at this person, to model yourself after. And then in the end you find out, wow, that that was not a, that was not a healthy ideal. Then you're, you're way down the [00:39:00] path. So like really be intentional. I think that's part of the reason that I really enjoy what drives winning is because I had some great people around me.

I was super lucky. My ad at Barry was amazing. The men's soccer coach was Brett Simon who left to go to Creighton and Stanford. And I mean just like really superstar people around me that I could model myself after. But I also recognize that not everyone's that lucky. And so sometimes you don't have anyone to model yourself after, and sometimes you have people who aren't as well grounded or healthy as the people I had.

And so trying to surround yourself like intentionally with people who you feel like are pointing you in the right direction in a healthy way because it's high performance in general. And I'm not limiting this to just sports. , but high performance can be a really, really dark space because it, it becomes like, it takes what it takes to be really good at something, [00:40:00] but at the same time, like, are you intentional about the, the, what you're setting up around that pursuit of high performance so that you are, you don't get the end to the end of your career and like, look at this wake of people behind you that you've just run over, or relationships that have died because you haven't put work into those or like the things that are important to you.

You need to prioritize and, and work can be one of those, but if they're important to you and you don't prioritize 'em without intention, it's very unlikely that you'll have a healthy situation.

[00:40:35] Phil: Yeah, that's so good. I mean, there's so much, there's so much to that and, and I think that there's such a push for mentorship nowadays and there's such a push for, you know, going out and getting all this content and there's content galore.

And so I think that advice is more important now than ever in our, you know, just cuz it's information doesn't mean it's good information and everything has its shadow. So there is great information on the internet and there's really, really bad, bad [00:41:00] advice on the internet. And, and the same goes for different people.

Don't just seek out a mentor, seek out a mentor who is wise and good and is relevant to and understands you. And going back to disk understands who you are, understands your, your position, like under Tan's context that you're in. All those things are critical. Just cuz they're a great coach doesn't mean they'd be a great mentor.

And and I think that's, that's really, really important. That's some great. .

[00:41:24] Becky: You know, one, one thing I'd add to that, like I, I personally feel like the mentor-mentee relationship has some hierarchy to it. And I, I don't, I don't love that I, I get the idea of it, but I don't love it. But I think if you can find, like thinking partners, that to me feels a little more level.

But it also realizes that you can get information from people in both ways. And so, like, for example, you know, like I'm, I, when I first met Brett, he was coaching an academy, fifth to 12th graders in, in basketball. Doesn't seem like there's a lot of [00:42:00] parallels there. Like, I'm at a University of Florida, he's, you know, coaching middle schoolers who were trying to make their varsity team in high school.

But I learned so much from. . And then I think he learned from me because that sort of gave him his entry into the college environment. But if we were only looking that as a one way relationship, I'm not sure there would've been a flow back and forth. And so, like now I look at it today, like, one of the people that I keep in contact with regularly is a woman named Sarah Loudon, who was on my staff in Florida.

She's now working with the Houston Dash, and she takes me into the world of the pros and we talk about things that are going on in that world. And I talk to her about things that, you know, my experience that I've had in college and continuing with what drives winning. And it's definitely a back and forth, even though she's, you know, 20 years younger than me, maybe 30, no, maybe not 30, but

Um, And, and so it, it just, I I, I love that arrangement that you can kind of [00:43:00] learn from everyone and yeah, I think some coaches will say like, oh, I don't, I don't really have. That environment. But like, let's just say you're at a, a college or a high school, there are other coaches in other sports. There's teachers, you know, it doesn't have to be your sport to get information from.

[00:43:17] Phil: Absolutely. Yeah. That we talk about that cross cross sport learning all the time. And I, and I can say some of the best, most important lessons I've learned in life have come from my kids. Mm-hmm. and things they've said and, and, and of sometimes it's, it's taking what I've taught them and train them up in and have a twist and has a thing that I never thought of.

And it's like, well dad, you said this, so isn't this right there with that? You know? And I'm like, oh my gosh, you're 100% right. And it's just total blind spot that I had. And yeah. That's so true.

[00:43:50] Paul: Yeah. I think that's an important piece that you added in there, Becky. It, it should be a relationship, you know, it should be a, a two-way relationship.

And, and it kind of goes back to even, you know, [00:44:00] making the call. You know, if there's somebody that you feel you could gain. , gain something from it and feel like you can maybe even contribute. I think, you know, understanding you have something to contribute. I think that's why I take calls a lot is like, I, what, what can I learn from this young coach?

Mm-hmm. , this young person, this older coach, older person. I just feel like, you know, I think it was said on an earlier podcast, I think it said a hundred times, but you know, once you feel like you've, you've, you, you know it all, you're done. You know, once you're done, you know, you're just done. So I think you've gotta continuously challenge yourself and listen to new ideas.

But I love that I'm big on relationship, Becky. So, I mean, I, I learned so much from my players. You sit down on one-on-one conversation and to truly guide a program. , I think the right way. You've really gotta be in touch with your players. You know, you've gotta, they're, they're the ones doing all the, the day-to-day work.

They're the ones with the close-knit relationships that are gonna affect the play on the field and on the training ground. And if you're not connected there, you're gonna, you're gonna lose it. So from a mentor per I'd have players come in and ask me stuff, and I'm the one asking them questions, you know, I'm like, so I love that, that relationship [00:45:00] piece.

[00:45:00] Becky: Big time. Well, I, I love that point that you bring up about learning from your players, because I think, I think as coaches, we get so positioned as the people who have the knowledge and, and coaches like we are like world-class tellers, but we're not necessarily really great at asking because it's just not how we've been socialized in our coaching profession.

But it's so, it's so interesting to like, maximize the capital in the room of your players, like they know a lot, like mm-hmm. , you know what, like just a simple example, you could say like, to a, a really good player on your team. Like, Hey, what's it like to be a really important player on this team? Like, and just let them talk.

Like let them take it where it is. Maybe it's, there's more pressure maybe that everyone comes to them to solve their problems. Like who knows whatever they're gonna go. But you could equally do that with what's it like to be a player who really doesn't get to travel or doesn't get to have a big role on this team?

What's that like? [00:46:00] And hearing those perspectives just broadens our view as a coach and I think makes us more thoughtful about how we go to a line of empathy and to set of a line of judgment when someone's behaving a certain way. Yeah.

[00:46:15] Paul: No, that's really important. I hope people will go back and listen to that.

They didn't catch all that. There's some great, great stuff in there. Becky, before we kind of move to the end of end of this, I, I want to kind of pick your brain a little bit. I mean, you've been, you've been around the game a long time. You, you've done a great job. You're highly respected in the game.

You've seen it all, all levels. I'd just love to hear kind of your input of where, where you think soccer where it's kind of gone over the last few years, the good things maybe that, that we're doing really well in, in our country. Maybe some things maybe we need to do a little bit better.

[00:46:45] Becky: Yeah. You know, it was really interesting.

I coached that half a season with the NWSL Orlando Pride and it was the season where there was just so much angst happening in the league with coaches, and that was really a great educational experience for me. I'm so glad I did that [00:47:00] because I think. . The hard part about that whole scenario is that there are so many great stories in the NWSL and beyond, um mm-hmm that sometimes get overshadowed by some of the, the dark things that are happening in our sport.

And I would love for us to be able to, like, think about it, the fact that the N W S L has survived as long as it has. It's the longest league that we've had for professionals, for women at this point. And, you know, we don't really talk about that that much because all we talk about is the, the Yates report and the scandals and all these things.

And then even college soccer as a pathway. You know, like there, there's certainly like, there's been like friction between like the men's side and the women's side in terms of like a year round season. And now I think they've decided to pursue their own avenues of that. But like when you think about it, like why do so many international players come here?

Because they don't have that opportunity to be a sports man or woman and a student in their country. And so like, . There are times we look at that [00:48:00] as like, is this hindering the development of our sport internationally? But then we look at it also as like, wow, what an amazing opportunity for so many people to be affected in a way of I get to be a sports man or woman in my sport, get a really high level education in the same time, and you know, yes.

Are there some perils to that? For the 1% of the 1% maybe. But are there some gains for that for the 99%? Totally. Mm-hmm. . So I don't know. I. You know, you look at like, I went to the Euros last year and man, like those teams, there's some teams that are just really stepping up their investment in the game and the development of players.

And we talk about all the time is the US falling behind. And again, I think sometimes we are always looking at what we don't have as opposed to what we do have. And so I, my my thing is can we leverage and really pay attention to the things that we're [00:49:00] doing well, not to ignore where we need to get better, but to like not just discount what we're doing.

Well and I feel like, I mean, in all sports, not just soccer, but we have such a high level of criticism sometimes and I think if we spent as much time so getting solutions as we do criticizing, we could probably come up with some pretty good ideas. .

[00:49:25] Paul: That's good. That's good advice.

[00:49:27] Phil: Yeah. You know, it's, it's interesting cause I've had a lot of conversations with people about that idea of the, should we just, you know, college soccer is a hindrance to pros and, and we we're, we're ruining the development of the player and it's not good enough soccer if they're gonna play after college.

And, and yet every, well, I'm not gonna say every, cuz I have, I've talked to some that didn't necessarily say this, but I didn't ask him. But the coach or the players who played at the highest level, we had Clyde best on, on you know, earlier in the podcast he played many years in the pros that played in Wolf for Westham, played for the [00:50:00] nasl.

And every time I talked to him about, you know, my kids and if they had, if they wanted to play pro and this, and he goes, go to college, get your educat. And you see these guys from Europe coming here, like you said, that they want to come here and they'll play for anybody here to get their education. My son plays a Biola and five or six of their players are internationally more than that are internationals because they want to come and they want to get the education.

And it's something that is, is so as you said, that 1% and it's probably 1% or 1%, maybe they skip, but too many people are seeing that as Oh, that's the route, that's the way, that's what I gotta do. And I think it's such a, it's such a problem that we need, it's just an education issue, right? It's, man, this is something that we need to educate them on to be able to understand that.

And I think it goes to our youth ranks too. I mean the, just the youth system. So many people are saying, well, what will get us to be a pro? I think that's the wrong question. And what will develop them as humans and if they make pro great. And I don't know. What are your [00:51:00] thoughts on that? .

[00:51:02] Becky: Yeah, I mean, I think the, the hard part is, is like the pay for pit play model that youth sports is, is definitely one of the differences that from when we grew up even. Mm-hmm.

you know, like I, I played club soccer, but I, I know we didn't pay any exorbitant fees because we, I wouldn't have been playing if we did. Yeah. And then high school sports, you know, like people will argue the relevance of high school soccer or any high school sport maybe besides football. And I, I just think that we have to evolve as the situations evolve.

And I think the challenge is that, you know, we talk about like if you ask somebody either of your ages or my age and say, what are the differences between when you were coming up? Like what does the modern athlete face that you did not, that's a really interesting place to start a conversation because it's so different.

You know, like even like the example of social media, like if I played a [00:52:00] game, the only people who saw it were like my parents and like maybe a hundred people if it was a well attended game, you know? Yep. Now, like, I mean, there's like third grade highlights that are cut up by a production company and posted on the internet, you know?

And so if I had a great game, maybe I'm getting a lot of validation from more people, but if I had a bad game or make a mistake, I'm also getting that criticism. And that's a lot to take for a young person's mind, you know? And I think that's, that's more the, the fear for me is how do we keep the joy of the game?

How do we keep the, the reason kids are playing relevant and how do we keep it accessible to everyone? Because, you know, pay for play is not an option for a lot of people. .

[00:52:49] Phil: Yeah. And if anyone has the answers to those questions uh, we would love to hear them and we could get them on the podcast. Yeah, exactly.

Yeah, definitely reach out to me and we'll talk about that. [00:53:00] Alright, so, you know, as we, as we say, I say this almost every episode, all good things must come to an end at some point. And we are nearing that. We are very close to that. But we have a couple questions we ask all of our guests and the, and the, and the first is, you know, how do you use the lessons you've learned directly from the game of soccer and your personal relationships outside the game?

Like, the one that I use is the retaliation gets the red with my kids. Right? So, you know that, that's the reality. They say, well, they did it first well, so I didn't see them do it and I saw you do it. So that's what a referee would do. So what what would be something like that or, you know, anything else that you, that comes to your mind when you think about that?

Things that you're using that you learned from the. ,

[00:53:38] Becky: oh my gosh. Like, I feel like, I feel like every single day I'm using lessons from the game all the time. But you know, since I just listened to that podcast last night with Abby, one of the things that really stuck out to me was if you've read Wolf Pack, which is her book, she talks about leading from the bench.

And I think that's a really, really hard thing for a lot of people to do. I mean, I know as a [00:54:00]player myself, there were times where I probably wasn't great at that. And I, I feel like one of the things that I really learned through coaching and playing playing as a bad example, coaching as a better example of like, I was very committed to my sport.

You know, I was really dedicated. I was putting everything into it. And I felt like some of my teammates weren't on my level with. But I was so interested in pointing out to them that they weren't on my level, that I was less interested in actually trying to bring them up to my level. And I just felt like, honestly, like I think my freshman year I walked around campus going like, who raised these people?

And like, what were they thinking? You know? Like I was so judgmental. And the, then when I got into coaching and I started to expand my bandwidth of like the differences of people, I just realized like I, I don't know why I didn't understand this in college, but like not everybody was raised like me.

Surprise, surprise, . [00:55:00] And so like trying to, I think my biggest lesson in playing and coaching has been around empathy. And I would've, if you had asked me when I was a younger coach, like what skills are you looking for the most in your players? I would've said stuff like competitive, hardworking, you know, like all these like hard skills.

And if you said to me now like, Curious would be one, because if you're curious, like you're always wanting to grow, and empathy would be the other, because if you're empathetic, then you're probably gonna be a pretty good teammate. And those two would not have entered my vocabulary as a player or as a younger coach.

Mm-hmm. ,

[00:55:41] Paul: that's good. Yeah. That's good. Good. Last last question here for you. What have you watched, read, or listened to that has most impacted your thinking on how soccer explains life and leadership?

[00:55:52] Becky: Hmm. Wow. That's a tough one. You've given us some

[00:55:57] Paul: good books throughout the, throughout this podcast that [00:56:00] Phil's gonna have to knock out into the show notes, but is there anything, anything that were really impactful for?

[00:56:06] Becky: Well, you know what's funny is because I'm not traveling as much I'm reading less, which I need to fix that because I, that was always my reading time was, you know, the plane or bus rides and stuff like that. But you know, I just watched welcome to Reem, which I'm sure a lot of people have. And of course, I was an early adopter of Ted Lasso, loved, I can't wait.

I think it's February 29th that's coming back. But Ted Lasso for me, the thing I loved about Ted Lasso was that, and this is, I think this is a great point for coaches of any sport, because Ted couldn't coach the sport cuz he knew nothing about soccer. He could only coach the humans. , right. The people who were playing the sport.

Mm-hmm. . And so I tried to do that my, my last couple years at Florida, I tried to, I, to be honest, I tried it in the spring because I felt like it was a little lower stake. So it wasn't real games. , the testing, the, yeah. So I [00:57:00] tried to watch games without focusing on the sport and instead focusing on everything that happened, like in between, like the action between the action.

Hmm. And first of all, it was really hard because I kept getting drawn to the sport. I'm like first touch, and then I'm like, oh wait, stop . But I think that, When I could, in those moments where I could focus on just the action between the action I learned so much. So now that I'm not coaching and I don't have to be drawn to the execution.

Like when I watch games, whether it's live or on TV of any sport, like I really try to watch the action between the action, like people's body language, how they interact with each other, all these different things. And it is a fascinating way to watch sport, but more importantly watch sport and apply lessons.


[00:57:51] Phil: that's really good. It's actually been a while since someone's recommended Ted Lasso probably has to do with the fact that it hasn't been a new season for a while. So I too, I actually just got [00:58:00] Apple TV again for that very reason. So , we had, we have, we had quite a, we had like a series on what, how Ted Lasso explains leadership.

So that's, that's very much good thing. The other thing that's interesting on that note is watching players. and how they perform under different managers. And I always use example of Luke Shaw because he was a, he's a kid who is, I just, I love watching him play, but watching him play under Mourinho was very different from watching him play under Solskaer and Mourinho is very task focused and Solskaer is very people focused.

And Shaw the little, I, you know, I was able to have a couple conversations with him. He seems to be a kid who is more of an S type personality. And so to watch these different players and to the extent you can kind of guess what they are see how they respond, it's fascinating. And as coaches, I think that's really important to watch those all or nothing specials, watch those things for what you're talking about that how do they respond when the manager's railing into 'em, and then what does that look like if they do any, [00:59:00] figuring out what kind of personality style they are.

It's super, super important. And I, you know, like you said, Ted Lasso, obviously it's fictional, but the principles are so true to life. And you know, so I, oh

[00:59:13] Becky: wait, I just thought of another really good one. I just watched this last weekend. It's called 38 in the Garden, so it's it's only 38 minutes long, 38 in the garden.

It's about Jeremy Lin. Remember Linsanity? Oh yeah. Hmm. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So good because I think it speaks to what you were just saying, Phil, about the, sometimes it's the environment, getting your opportunity in the right environment. takes people in a different place, you know, so like the story about Jeremy Lin is fascinating because he was the ca California High School player of the year, won a stage championship and had zero offers to go anywhere to play in college.

Ends up at Harvard cuz he had two. He ended up getting Harvard and m i t where her only offers and then you know, [01:00:00] gets taken by Golden State Warriors. No, go, like, doesn't get a minute. And it just sort of follows his progression till he gets to the Knicks. And it is such a fascinating short documentary about how environment and the, the talent fits in certain places.

So I would highly re.

[01:00:20] Phil: That's so good. That's a good one, folks. That's a first. Yeah, that is a, I can't wait to watch that. And I love that story. I've watched a couple things on Jeremy Lin and he's, that's great. Great story. And that's also a little podcasting lesson. Folks, if you talk long enough, they'll think of more stuff.

So it's good . But I'm not gonna keep going cuz I'm sure there's a lot more that would come if we did. But thank you so much Becky, for, for being a part of the conversation. Thank you for all you're doing and keep, keep putting out the what drives winning. It is so good. And if you're not familiar with what drives winning folks, we'll have the link in the show notes, but it's just what drives

And trust me, you're going to, you know, allow some time when you do that cuz there's so much good stuff there. So thank you Becky.

[01:00:59] Becky: Thank you. It was [01:01:00] great talking to you guys. It was great questions. Yeah.

[01:01:02] Paul: Well, we appreciate it. Thanks Becky for being, for being with us. I've always appreciated what you, what you do have done for the game and continue to do for the game and just very much appreciate you coming on with us today.

Enjoyed it a lot.

[01:01:12] Becky: Yeah, me too. I loved

[01:01:13] Phil: it. So folks, thank you for being a part of this. Thank you for listening. And you know, as you know, you can always go to the show notes, find all those books, all the different things we talked about. We'll have the links to those, the documentaries, whatever it is. Those links will be there in the show notes.

Also in the show notes, you'll find the link to Warrior Way Soccer to find out what Paul and Marci are doing there down in Waco and other parts of the country and other parts of the world. And also coaching the bigger game. You can, you can get the link to that to see what Christian Devries and I are doing there.

We're actually launching our first cohort for that in a little bit. So thank you everyone for all you're doing, keep it up. And I, you know, as always, we hope that you're using what you're learning here and you're using it to be a better spouse, a better parent, a better coach, better leader in all that you [01:02:00] do.

And continually remind yourself that soccer does explain life and leadership. Thanks a lot. Have a great couple weeks.