Attitude

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously stated, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”  In my humble opinion, there is no greater truth.

As you are reading this, I want you to think back and remember your favorite teacher.  Now think about your favorite coach, or neighbor.  What do all of these people have in common?  I bet that they were all enthusiastic; they all had a zest for life and their energy inspired you.

Now think about the most successful people at your workplace.  If you are still a student, think about the students with the highest grade point average, or are the best actors, or best athletes.  Guess what they all have in common.  Yes!  You guessed it, an insatiable, interminable, supply of energy and enthusiasm.

Okay, so we have established that enthusiasm is probably the most important building block to success.  Assuming we all want to be successful, the question is then how do we become more enthusiastic?  How do we become more like that amazing third grade teacher that always greeted us with a smile and knew the answer to every question about dinosaurs?  The answer is not that simple, but here are some suggestions:

  1. Choose a career that you absolutely love.  For me, I teach and coach.  I get to interact with kids on a daily basis, and I am lucky to enough to learn from them, and I hope that they learn from me.  It is a mutually fulfilling relationship that I cherish, and for that, I am enthusiastic about my job.
  2. Spend your time around positive people.  If I have never met you, I can guess what kind of person you are by meeting your friends.  Surround yourself with good people, and the power of attraction takes root.  Surround yourself with negative people, and your whole outlook on life changes.
  3. Seek out a hobby that you are passionate about.  You may not have one right now, and it may take some trial and error to find one, but your life will change once you do.  Personally, my hobbies have changed over time.  That’s normal too.  What you were passionate about when you were twenty-five may not be appealing to you at forty-five.  What’s important is that you have something to look forward to that pushes your mental status quo outside of its comfort zone.
  4. Cherish your daily routine.  We all get bogged down in the routine of life.  Instead of looking at it as a necessary evil, change your mindset and be mindful of your chores.  Take pride in them.  Notice the smell of the detergent as your washing your children’s clothes.  Pay attention to the smells of the kitchen as you are preparing dinner.  Noticing the small things and taking pride in them can completely change your world.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  We have all been knocked down at one point or another by a life event.  We may also feel like every day is “Groundhog Day”, and we don’t know how to break the cycle.  These are the moments we need to reach out.  We live and work in COMMUNITIES; entities based on communal interaction.  Ask and you shall receive.

Here at Future Stars the most glaring common characteristic of our employees is a sense of enthusiasm; a sense of I’m willing to try this and I can’t wait to try that.  We feed off of each other’s energy, and that creates a special work environment.  We are grateful that so many have entrusted us with the caretaking of their children, and pray that they have felt inspired by us, the same way my third grade teacher did to me.

Note: In John Wooden’s ‘Pyramid of Success,’ enthusiasm, along with industriousness, serves as the foundation.

Wooden-Pyramid-for-Web

Skill

ImageSKILL. Definition ‘Special Ability in a task, sport, etc.,esp ability acquired or developed by training’.

As an avid Soccer fan — be it as spectator, player or coach — skill is something that is always wonderful to see from players, especially in the game environment. With the UEFA Champions League resuming play it’s a great opportunity to see many of the most accomplished players in the world showing off their skills at the highest level.  Players like Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), and Robin Van Persie (Man Utd) are perhaps the more recognizable names we identify with when it comes to skill but these players – along with many others –  can be used as a visual aid for our youth players to strive towards in terms of skill.  At the highest level we see not only skill, but more importantly players performing at pace, whilst under pressure and showing great balance throughout.  As an active coach for players from the youth through collegiate level it is often the case that our players have ‘skill’ and show this in training at a comfortable pace, but when it comes to the game environment it is not always evident. The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Best Practices for Coaching Soccer in the United States booklet states “The most fundamental skill in soccer is individual mastery of the ball and the creativity that comes with it”. To that end the focus of developing youth players should be to ensure our athletes have a sound technical base to allow them to apply the specific sports skills in the game environment. To give our players the best chance to succeed and perform in games, we as coaches should ensure every training session is well structured and follows suitable progressions whilst challenging our players to perform outside their ‘comfort zone’. There are a variety of coaching styles and methods, and it is important that a coach creates an environment that works for him/her and the players on the team. David Beckham was perhaps the most recognizable name in the professional game in the US in recent years and was famously quoted saying “I still look at myself and want to improve”. Hopefully we can encourage our youth players to have the same attitude and then enjoy the moments of skill that follow and celebrate them with our players.