Having enjoyed a little blogging break to recharge the batteries and prepare for the new season ahead, It’s time to get back in the saddle. My last blog ‘Field of Dreams’ created a lot of positive feedback with many actually asking where this club was from and how could they visit!! Unfortunately this was my vision and dream for how it could be. Don’t get me wrong, my own club is very much following this path but we still have some distance to travel.
As my footnote in the previous blog suggested I would cover what would get in the way of fulfilling this dream. So, after only four matches into the new season there has been plenty to reinforce the Egoic Dream Killers who abound our clubs.
The feeling of losing a game/cup final/goal is just the ego telling you that it is in charge. Does that ‘oh so important win’ really matter? Is your meaning and purpose tied to an external event that you have no influence over? The ego is constantly running your life by telling you that you need MORE. More wins, more plastic cups, more success. So what happens when all this winning and success stops (and it will) and you are still tied to that same ego? Depression/feelings of helplessness and inadequacy. Unless you have a bigger purpose and meaning in your life then you are wide open to these egoic influences.
If you really identify yourself with wins and losses then you are always at the behest of your ego. Only when you start to quieten that egoic voice and reduce the impact of your ego by having a higher purpose will you start to enter a new plane of wisdom and understanding. Only then will you start to understand how many problems that the ego is causing you. This will start a transition from having a selfish outer purpose (wins/trophies etc) to an inner purpose where you begin to understand that the most important thing is to realise what that purpose is.
So how do we tell if the ego is in charge and driving the bus? Easy, just test it out. Watch a game and just observe the actions from the coaches and parents at the side of the park. If you are witnessing lots of stress, anger, complaining, fear, blame or other negative reactions then you are seeing the manifestations of all these ego’s together. This is self-fulfilling as you will see the ‘enemies’ being created in the opposition players/coaches and/or the referee. As all ego’s battle it out, they continually reinforce each other to make the ego’s stronger. They reach a crescendo and the problems have now become massive as all the ego’s involved fight for superiority (This is what the ego does!). The ego causes separateness in people as we move apart. This is now the opposite direction in which we should be moving if we want to work together to get better. We need to be inclusive rather than this exclusive behaviour.
The bottom line (and I know this is extremely difficult) is we have to move away from “my team” (exclusive) to “our game” (inclusive). We (individually and collectively), need to call out the ego and replace it with an inner purpose where we are still and calm and can then work together for the betterment of our game as a whole. Yes, of course I am called an idealist but only when we move from independence to inter-dependence will see progress, and ultimately results.
So all you Egoic Dream Killers who try to bring us down, remember we are in this for the long haul and not the short term plastic trophies you so crave. I will work collaboratively with this constant message that the ego does us no favours but achieving a higher purpose does. My larger purpose is to keep this dream alive for the good of the game.
6 thoughts on “Egoic Dream Killers”
Yeah good intentions indeed but utter drivel I’m afraid. From my experience I have witnessed so much of so called ‘good’ coaches (some re-tweet your posts incredible but true) pulling players from their teams because they’re not a good enough standard for them and others making up teams of academy players and tour the area desperately trying to win tournaments. Like I say some of these follow you on Twitter etc. You want rid of the worst parts of adult ego in the youth game? Get rid of organized teams. This is where it starts, the parents the coaches get together and suddenly it’s ‘our kids’ against others kids. My kid is better etc you get the picture. parents applying pressure to coach to get the win because little Johnny goes to school with little Jimmy and we need to beat them.
Register hundreds of kids, organize venues and pick teams randomly each week. Nullifies the adult interference quite a bit. Won’t eradicate it but it would be so much better for the kids. They get to play with less pressure, more fun, they meet new kids every week and they are challenged to up their game if they’re in a struggling team that week. I know there will be loads of negative replies to it but they will be from people who want to keep the status quo of tribalism within kids football. Look beyond your adult needs and think what the kids might like for a change.
Hi Paul. I couldn’t agree more and would love to change the system as you suggest. There are loads of coaches who do as you suggest but there are also other who accept what they have and try to improve their players on any level. As always there is no one size fits all but hopefully we can all work together to change the current system. My problem is that ‘ego’ gets in the way of making any changes.
Hi David, you’re probably one of the good guys out there. Sorry for describing the piece as drivel it just incenses me when I think of the hypocrites calling themselves coaches. In my experience of kids football (15+ years) it is a terrible environment for development. Coaches bandy the words ‘development and respect’ around but it’s mere lip service. The very same coaches then play their best player for the entire game or ‘persuade’ the parents of a weaker player that he would develop more in a team with similar level players (some truth in that I believe btw but used as a cop out by coaches not good enough to develop a kid). For every decent coach with the correct approach there are a dozen more with only winning on their mind. You will find lots of resistance to change from the egomaniacs. Very soon the new season kicks off in my area and already there are posts on facebook from coaches/clubs stating their aims this season as in winning trophies and leagues. These are U9 teams btw when leagues and scores are not published. So desperate are these egomaniacs that there are whatsapp groups between coaches so that they can find out scores and keep an unofficial league table. Think I’m joking? I only wish I was. Some years ago when my own son started playing for a team I took the time to ask him what he really wanted. You know what he said? He said he wanted to play with his mates and have a good time. He didn’t mention winning, scoring goals or winning cups/medals he just wanted to play. I no longer have much involvement with grassroots football and I’m glad to be out of it. Kids are pawns in the game to the adults desires, it’s all wrong.
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Hi Paul. I totally get what you are saying and it is this sort of behaviour from coaches which inspired me to write about it as I was seeing the same things (and still do) as you.By trying to throw some light and expose this type of coaching and call out the problems and hopefully suggest some solutions then I am trying to play some small part in changing this environment.
My own club is trying to do this but again we still have coaches who are more about winning. They are slowly reducing as we believe it is all about playing (and enjoying) football with your pals.
I am sorry you thought you had to shoot the messenger and particularly sorry to see someone who cares passionately about the game drifting away. I know it’s hard but we should fight this together as it is the only way we can make change happen.
I enjoy reading these as I find it serves as a good reminder. I don’t think there is enough guidance or well delivered coach development programmes. It is down to coach education I am told, so educate them. Unfortunately bewilderment can be the norm, even at fun fours the rules change from pod to pod and slide tackles are applauded instead of being discouraged. I agree with Paul at times it isn’t worth bothering with. Rightly or wrongly I think it’s better if the kids find their own level but it doesn’t mean they should be treated differently should they be deemed better or worse. In the younger age groups fixed positions are a real annoyance as is kids being put off playing in goal because they get stuck there but hey it’s for the good of the team.
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