I’ve been enjoying the European Championship these past few weeks and I’ve come to realize how much a soccer match is similar to life. I believe you can find inspiration anywhere if you pay attention so here are 8 lessons I learned while watching soccer that I hope to apply to my own life. I hope they inspire you as well.
1. You have to train
Training is important in sport and in life. You need to learn as much as you can if you want to succeed at something, be it by going to school and learning a career or learning soft skills, like effective communication, resilience, and patience. It takes discipline and hard work to succeed and for that you need to prepare yourself as much as you can.
2. Have a strategy
We need plans and to set goals and deadlines, but we also need to be prepared for the unexpected and be flexible. There is a strategy to a soccer match. The players are chosen based on their skills and positioned to better utilize those skills. The opposing team needs to be studied and analyzed for weaknesses. In life, we also need to analyze our own strengths and weaknesses and learn what we don’t know or ask for help. We also need to learn to adapt when things go wrong and come up with another plan. If our strategy doesn’t work, then we have to change strategies. Sometimes it means sacrificing something, like when a player stays on the bench for the good of the team.
3. Take risks and attack
You can’t wait for things to happen. You can be cautious, but once you see an opportunity in front of you, you need to take it, even if you fail. If you don’t take it, you’ll never know if it would’ve resulted in a win.
4. Mistakes will happen but you can’t let them affect you
Keep trying. Don’t give up. Soccer players miss passes, lose the ball, or try to score a goal but miss. Even with these mistakes, they keep moving and trying to score.
5. You will fall and be pushed down, but you have to get up and get back in the game
Soccer players fall and get hurt all the time, but they always get up if they can and don’t let the fall keep them from playing. When life pushes us down, we need to recover and keep working on our goal.
6. Sometimes hard work doesn’t pay off
I watched a game where no matter how hard the team tried, they never managed to score a goal, and it ended in an undecided match. Sometimes our hard work doesn’t pay off. Sometimes it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. Or sometimes it’s all about luck. The only thing we can do is learn from our mistakes and try again later.
7. You can’t let losing keep you from playing or winning go to your head.
Winning teams know that one game lost doesn’t mean anything. They know they can do better and will try again next time. Winning teams also know that just because you won, doesn’t mean you’ll win again. There is always room for improvement. So don’t get discouraged by setbacks. But also don’t stop working hard if you succeed, because you never know when your winning streak will end.
8. There’s not one way to win
Some teams like to keep possession of the ball and tire out the other team, while other teams attack early on and only focus on getting the ball away from the other team. No matter your strategy, if it works for you, then keep doing it. You don’t have to copy anyone else. Be true to yourself and keep going.
Do you agree with my observations? What are other life lessons can you come up with? Have you ever been inspired by an athlete or a sporting event? Let me know in the comments. I love to get inspired.
Photo via VisualHunt