I had the pleasure of meeting with the University of Alberta Pandas soccer team tonight. They head to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championship tomorrow.

At the beginning of the year, we met to “create their story” and play with perspectives for the season ahead. In considering how to view the challenge of getting out of Canada West and making it to Nationals (to be hosted by McGill University), one of the ideas that stuck was “Poutine in Montreal.” It became a fun touchstone to stay focused on a big team goal.

In a final meeting before their departure, I told them how proud we all are of their accomplishments and I invited them to enjoy the experience of being at Nationals. I mentioned how I just finished reading an article about Jerry West, who was not only one of greatest basketball players of all time, but also perhaps the best general manager in NBA history, who assembled the Showtime Lakers and also brought Kobe and Shaq to Los Angeles. Jerry never enjoyed any of it. To me, this is a tragedy.

Perhaps even more so for the achievement focused among us, we can become so fixated with the goal that we can forget to appreciate the opportunity of being in the process. When we get obsessed with pinnacles, a lot of life can feel like “filler.” There can be a lot of joy in noticing the privilege of being in the game.

I also spoke specifically to the players who may not always be on the field all the time about how soccer is a game of “moments.”  In a 90-minute contest, it is usually about 90 seconds worth of play that determines the outcome. It’s important to be at your best when those moments come. One of my greatest moments in soccer (and a life highlight) was coming off the bench and scoring a goal as my Grinnell College soccer team won the conference championship. How can you apply the notion of looking for and appreciating life’s moments? What experiences do you want to make a point to enjoy?

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Buzz