Musings From A Footballer's Mind

I put a lot of time into this. It’s not a stretch to say that Football(Soccer) is my whole life. I have learned everything about life from the experiences that I have had in this game. It has taught me a wealth of knowledge, shown me my weaknesses and my strengths and given me the ability to adapt and adjust to any and all the challenges that have come my way. This is the greatest skill one can learn. In a world where nothing is certain and everything changes, the ability to roll with the punches, recognizing weakness and transmuting it into strength, all the while having equanimity of soul within while the storm rages without, are the keys to balance. 


Why is balance the key? Well, look at nature. Most of what we consider beautiful is balanced and symmetric. The snowflake, the flower, the human body, studies show that symmetry is found in most things that we find attractive or beautiful. The beautiful mind is the one that’s so focused on its task that it find solutions seemingly without effort because it is not distracted by the thought of failure or frustration. This concept can be related back to football. The most attractive footballers are the ones that always have an elegant solution to the questions being posed in the game. They might be posed a question in the form of pressure from the right, or the left, maybe the question is in the form of movement off the ball from their teammates, but the question at its core is always the same...”how do I choose what to do with the ball?”  The best players make the game beautiful because they are balanced and understand the polar/binary aspect of this game, or the yin and yang nature of it. Their minds are aligned with this concept and so they don’t panic or dwell on the decision to be made. They choose the path of least resistance and execute. “If it’s not one way it’s another.” This is what the best players and teams understand. It is also a simple mantra for life. When you are trying to learn a new skill or technique stay calm and remember that if it’s not working one way then adjust and try it another way. This is after all how life has learned and adapted since the beginning of time. 


I hope that you can see how important balance is to life on and off the field. Everything is mental. Soccer is a mental game expressed by the feet. In the game you have an idea which is a mental thing, and it is executed by the feet which are a physical thing, but at the core, what is happening is the realization of mental ideas. Take for example the idea of flight. Humans at one time would have laughed at the thought of an aircraft. That is until one person or group of people decided that it should be possible. Was it instantaneous? Did they fly with the first machine they built? No. But they learned and adapted and ultimately found a way to bring an idea into reality. Now we fly and think nothing of it. This is what is possible with the right mindset and application of knowledge. Manifestation, the birthing of idea from mental concept into physical reality. This is why I find the game of Football to be the greatest game on the planet. It is a metaphor for how a collective of people can unify to achieve a common goal. A goal is an idea, it’s realization can happen any number of ways, the balanced team recognizes this, and therefore is flexible about how they get there and who ends up putting the ball in the back of the net. No matter what minute it is in the game they know they can get there by adjusting and adapting to what they recognize by being balanced, aware and paying attention to what is happening not by being frustrated by what has happened. 


written by:

Coach Sean