It sure has been a fun ride watching Team U.S.A. battle in the World Cup these past few weeks. But, alas, the ride is officially over. At least we can hold our heads high knowing that they tried their best and represented our country with pride. We’ll get ’em in 2018!
Having been immersed in everything soccer recently, I can’t help but think of all the lessons the “beautiful game” can teach us about how to live our lives to the fullest and make our dreams a reality.
That said, I thought it would be fun to take some typical soccer terms and see how they can apply to and help us improve our lives. Here goes…
This one’s a no brainer. Unless you have goals in life, you’re not really working towards anything. You have to have something to shoot for, something that drives you and excites you; otherwise you’re just going through the motions. Just make sure that your goals are S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Take some time to map out your goals and exactly how you plan to get there. If you do, you’re much more likely to accomplish them down the road.
4) USING YOUR HEAD
In soccer, your head can be a powerful weapon. You can use it to gain possession of the ball after it’s booted by the goalie, to pass the ball to a teammate, or, better yet, to drive a cross into the back of the net. In life your head may be the most powerful weapon you have when it comes to making the right decisions to be successful. Whenever you’re presented with a choice, when you use your head and first consider the consequences, you’re most likely to make a smart decision. Before you blast out that controversial Facebook post or share that not-so-flattering photo on Instagram, think if it will benefit or detract from your personal brand. Use your head!
When one player slides and kicks the ball away from another player, it’s known as a tackle or a challenge. A successful challenge can stop a scoring attack in its tracks. It can be a game-changer. The same thing goes for you and your life. If you just play it safe and stay within your comfort zone, you’ll never know what you’re capable of. But if you try new things and make it a habit to challenge yourself regularly, you discover new things about yourself and grow as an individual. Don’t like the way your life is going? Change your game. Challenge yourself.
2) GAME PLAN
If you’ve been watching the World Cup, you’ve probably heard the analysts talking about game plans and strategies. Even in a sport like soccer, where things can seem so random at times, you can’t just go into it and expect to be successful without a solid game plan. If the other team’s stronger than yours, you probably want to play more conservative, more defensive. On the other hand, you might want to take the game to them and try to get an early lead. When it comes to being successful in your own life – whether in college or in your career – you have to put some thought into your personal game plan. What type of education do you need? How will you get the extra experience that will give you an edge with employers? How will you build and grow your network to serve as a powerful resource in your career? Don’t make the mistake of going through life willy-nilly. Be strategic. Have a game plan.
Have goals, use your head, challenge yourself, have a game plan—it’s a solid strategy, not just for soccer, but for your life, as well.
And, oh, one last thing...
1) HAVE A BALL
Because that’s pretty important too.