Today I write from a soccer tournament in Cincinnati. My nine-year old son and three of his teammates have been thrilled because they were asked to be guest players on an eleven-year old team. Some coaches use guest players to bring in ringers in order to win a tournament, build their own egos, and advertise how great they are at coaching. I can assure you that the four youngsters are not ringers. They are not terrible either. Alex and his friends are doing fine against some bigger kids and adjusting to a bigger field with more players on it. In fact, they have played two good halves. Unfortunately, there were the two other halves in both games.
While some coaches coach for their own ego, more are like the eleven-year old coaches, Kathe and Heather. They saw an opportunity to give younger kids a chance to play. It would not guarantee a win for their team. Instead, it would make their players be leaders with the younger kids and give the younger players a chance to learn from the older ones.
This is good teaching. Teachers are not in the profession for the glory. Good teachers teach kids. They do not teach a subject. For example, English is not the primary focus in every student’s life. They have soccer games, band practice, and troubles at home or with friends. I use English class as a tool to help the kids travel through life.
The business leader has to manage people and like a teacher or coach, know how to help them succeed. He or she could constantly try to bring in a ringer for short term success, but ringers are like free-agents in the pros; they switch teams often and quickly. Or, the leader could develop the talents of all of his or her workers and have long term success.
As a teacher, I have to go with long term success. I don’t want a child to have had his greatest accomplishment and best memories from ninth grade. So, thanks coaches for making the players successful in the game of life.