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A Soccer Team’s Values
Many things go into making a soccer team successful. To have all elements in a team work in unison will require well-defined, realistic principles. Although individual characters and temperaments differ in each player, everyone in the team should know and abide by the group’s principles. Most soccer teams craft their values to meet two expectations, namely to build a team capable of winning games and competitions, and to ensure player development. Therefore, in some ways, the values that assemble a successful soccer team are universal.
Perhaps one of the first words that come to mind when you think of soccer is discipline. An organized soccer team functions by a set of rules. There are codes of conduct around times to report for practice, what to wear and how to address team coaches. Other aspects of team discipline require players to follow the prescribed diet plan, avoiding eating foods that could adversely affect performance. A well-run soccer team allows for flexibility, giving players room to be creative, but not at the expense of successful performances and player development.
To be a respectful soccer team does not mean to be timid or inferior. Players must be confident in their abilities and firmly speak up for themselves. Respect is simply treating everyone as part of the chain that makes soccer such a beautiful game. Soccer teams instill in their players the value of honoring the game, to respect opponents, officials, teammates, and especially one’s self. Opponents should be respected, as without them, there would be no competition and therefore no merit in playing the sport. Tempers may flare during games, but it is the duty of the team leader, the captain, to step in and ensure order. Officials must also be respected, doing otherwise could result in referees handing out punishments for players, and by extension, the team. The need to respect teammates is more obvious, as it would simply be impracticable to have success as a team without it. Respecting oneself is to have confidence in why you belong in the team and to be true to the team’s principles.
If you are part of a soccer team with a coaching hierarchy, be ready to work. Good coaches are there to push players to put forth their best effort, leaving no room for mediocrity. All players are placed at the same level, every player being considered just as important as the next. Each player has to prove themself by working hard every single day. As it is usually said, hardwork beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. From academy to pro, work ethic does pay.
Despite being a physical sport, soccer is a game of intelligence. Players have to make quick decisions throughout the entire game. Since one player cannot win a game alone, the decision-making process is done in conjunction with teammates. This is why communication is so important. Teammates who are not able to communicate effectively will not be able to play effectively. Communication is also extremely important for coaches. They must find a balance between verbal and nonverbal cues to pass their ideas to their players.
Players will have to make sacrifices for the better good of the success of the team. Players will often become resentful of a teammate who plays only for themself, rather than for the team. Before every individual honor that exists in soccer, the most important is that a team wins its games. Team success cannot be secondary to a player’s pursuit of individual awards, like a player wanting to be crowned top goal scorer so much that they abandon their defensive duties. The dynamic nature of a soccer game may mean a defensive player could be out of position, requiring a more attacking player to cover to avert potential danger from opponents. Essentially, players have to adopt the mindset that the team always comes first and must do whatever is needed of them to help the team win.