I woke with Miley Cyrus this morning.
Apparently so did 309,525, 687 other people before me. You would be amazed what a father wakes up to just when you think you have a secure password in place on your MacBook. YouTube is the modern spice route.
The origin of our encounter aside, let’s go with Miley a moment.
As I clicked between “Malibu” and “Younger Now”, I could not help but clip a few verses of relevance. Did you think inspiration only comes from Deepak Chopra? Yes, me too, but indulge me.
“My eyes open when I feel the light. It’s always right before I am going to scream.” – Miley
There are days when you wake up feeling that a voice in the wilderness is just that, a meaningless murmur in the forest of futility. There are so many reasons to wake up and do what others do and say what others say and collect what others collect. It is delightful to run with the pack.
However, when I am about to shut up and shut down, a song. “I always thought I would sink so I never swam,” Miley shares. Never underestimate a well-timed pop tune.
I know that we are not solving world hunger as we set out to rethink and redesign talent development. This is football, after all. A sport. However, our children depend upon us to get this right. My children depend upon me to get this right.
We are conditioned to accept mediocrity because traditional training is the fast food of modern football. We can market it, package it, and sell it in numbers. Line them up, process the passing drills, and tame complexity with countless choreographed concoctions.
But what if we cannot? What if quality does not come in a can?
You see, while the pressure of conformity is vast and powerful, it belittles our craft. It belies the very nature of talent development in its entirety. We cannot “just add water” to the powder of adolescence and expect mature players and responsible citizens to emerge.
“Sometimes I get so scared of what I can’t understand.” – Miley
We cannot perpetuate the same old, same old and expect the sensational to flourish. We are going to have to listen to the music of our children and couple it with the courageous from the ages. So, I am going to continue to click through pop songs of the next generation until I can figure this whole thing out. I am going to let Miley and Chopra find compatible space in my messy library of thought.
“It’s a brand new start.” – Miley
And when on occasion, I feel that swimming upstream is painfully purposeless, I am going to kick a ball about with my children and remind myself that there are very few things worth doing well, and maximizing the potential of our young must remain one of them.
“I feel like I just woke up.” – Miley
And when I figure out how to password protect YouTube from my kids I will revert to reading Deepak. And as I do I may actually read something similar in his message.
“In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” – Deepak Chopra
I would like to find my best self - my youngest, most vibrant and reflective self. I would like to find the self that can resonate through generations. I would like to be a modern parent worthy of the remarkable children in my charge. I would like to be a modern educator worthy of these amazing players on the pitch.
And maybe a new song will be written along the way.