I am exhausted. The type of exhaustion that inspires one to awaken to the potential before us. The type of exhaustion that reaffirms my faith in football, in our young people playing it, and our leaders coaching it.
For the last four weeks I have had the honor to work with coaches, train players, and host parents on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in Sitges, Spain.
“A place that has to be believed to be seen.” (U2)
Did I say was exhausted?
And as I wave goodbye to the last of these fabulous families, I sit down to my morning dose of U2. Just Bono and Beane in harmony. While I am certain Bono was not referring to TOVO Training in his lyrics, who cares. Fatigue can lead to ludicrous illumination.
“How long must we sing this song?” (U2)
What if we redesigned football instruction? What might happen if we redefined our role as coaches? What might we produce if we do not waste the next thirty years doing the same training we have done for the last thirty years? What might happen if sound pedagogical principles trumped politics? What if every club and every coach committed to doing right by every child? What might happen if our path to victory was a road to integrity? What would winning with style and dominating with dignity look like? What might learning while losing look like? What if we spent as many resources on pure development as we do on uniforms?
“I want to tear down the walls and hold the inside. I want to reach out and touch the flame. I want to feel some light on my face... It’s all I can do.” (U2)
Too romantic perhaps? Not for those whose spent any portion of the last four weeks brainstorming and knocking a ball about our Seaside Villa. We watched that romantic vision unfold before our idealistic eyes.
We have unwittingly fashioned a new vision. We have started a movement that will gain momentum and energize the programs within which we work. Thirty-five coaches and thirty-five players may not change the world, but we may change our small portion of it. We are on a journey to crazy good, the ridiculously sensational. Why not?
“If you go your way and I go mine.” (U2)
What if Bay Area boy played with exceptional vision, precision and pace?
What if a Cornwall coach set his sights on the extraordinary?
What if a Portland parent applauded in pride after a courageous defeat?
If there were a path to progress would you join us? Would you come along for a tantalizing tumultuous ride? Would you be willing to rethink our journey as educators?
“If there is a light you can always see
And there is a world we can always be
And there is a dark we shouldn’t doubt
And there is a light don’t let it go out.” (U2)
If you were here you know. If you trained as hard as we trained you understand. If you set expectations higher than you could possibly accomplish and still sweat it out in the stadium by the sea, you believe. You are human. You were at your best while at your most vulnerable. You devoured experience. And you honored every moment of a holistic development program.
“You have a face not spoiled by beauty
I have some scars from where I have been
You have eyes that can see right through me
You’re not afraid of anything they’ve seen.” (U2)
This is a “song for someone”.
This is a song for every coach, every player, and every parent who ventured far from home to return home a person of greater cognition, competence and character.
“It’s a beautiful day, don’t let it get away.” (U2).
Safe travels on your football journey.