"A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment."
To play on last weeks topic of inspiring player's, I wanted to talk about motivation and teaching.
I have coached hundreds of times and with all ages. The one good quality I have seen with good coaches is that they find a way to say something so the player they are saying it to will not resent them for that whole practice or week. As I was saying last week in choosing your words wisely, it is something that I want to talk about this week also. Now, when a person is in practice, the midst of coaching, it is tough to control their words or how they react to situations. Let me give you an example through my own life.
Growing up I used to swear on the field a lot. I swore at my players and other players. Let's just say I was not the most encouraging team mate. I realized that had to change. I slowly trained my mind and mouth to stop swearing. I made myself be conscious of the words that came out of my mouth. So, I would catch myself a lot and slowly but surely I stopped swearing on the field. My demeanor changed to be more kind and encouraging towards my players. I had to find a way to criticize/teach other player's without destroying them.
There are two types of coaches I believe. Those that player's resent after training and those that do not. You can get a winning coach even if he is someone who creates fear in his player's through his word domination. I like to call it word domination, because the coach creates a dominating force over player's in belittling them. The player's then come to focus very hard, but only because they know the coach will lambaste them if they do not get it right. These player's may think the coach is great, but they do not like him and will not really talk to their coach much after they play for them. I encourage coaches everywhere to be the coach that motivates through positive criticism and finds ways their player's will not resent them at the end of the day.
Our minds are powerful in that we can control the way we think and say things. If we create an environment that cultivates creativity and being comfortable at training, then we will be on the right track. I do not know about you, but I want my player's to love talking to me. I want them to remember me and want to stay in touch with me. I not only want to be a successful coach on the field, but a coach that is successful off of it. Create that environment that not only teaches player's about soccer, but about growing as a human being. Use the way you talk to them and interact with them as an example. They will look up to you, but make it because they want to be like you and not fear you.
QOTW (Question of the Week) for tomorrow: post your answers on the comment board and I will put the best one's up for tomorrow...
---If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?---
So, I get to Crew Stadium and start my rehab yesterday. It was fun to see all the familiar faces in the stands that were already ready for our game. Then after rehab it was fun to go out to some of the tailgates and say hi to some people. Man, who says Crew fans do not know how to have a good time? Shoot, I know they do. Congrats Crew fans in helping to grow a larger community of people in supporting our cause to win trophies.
The game was enjoyable in the sense that we won 2-0 and started the season off with three points. A couple things I am loving about our team thus far; for one, you gotta love the D.O special. The one time a game where Danny O'rourke runs 90 yards down the field and somehow finds a way to make an opportunity for our team to score. Danny, you get my award for being opportunistic brutha. Another thing was seeing the Nordecke come out in full swing. You guys packed it over there and made your voices heard.I loved the new banners and signs everyone made by the way. It was a beautiful day and I loved having the season start up again. Looking forward to seeing everyone again soon. Short blog post, because I want to watch basketball...no more number ones...with me now...no more number ones.
So, I had the great honor of flipping from the MLS first kick game thursday night and Xavier versus Kansas State. What a game. I mean the basketball game by the way. Right when Philly received the red card it was pretty much over and the second half Seattle dominated. So, I watched Xavier sink trifecta after trifecta to keep the game going. It was an amazing game to watch as both teams were laying everything they had on the court. My wife went to Xavier and we were cheering for them, bummer they lost.
But, the first game was great. Great in that we brought another team into the league. Great that Seattle, as usual, packed their house to the brim. Great that Alejandro Moreno got some face time. Katie and I loved having Alejandro on the Crew. His wife is awesome, his kids are fun, and Alejandro is a great guy. It stinks he is not with us anymore, but it was cool to see him playing again. I look forward to going up against him one of these days. Man oh man was Philly young though. That is what happens when you have an expansion team. I am sure they will do well seeing that they have a good coach in Peter Nowak. Good teams take time to build sometimes. The more games you have with a core group of guys the better. You could just tell Seattle knew each other on the field. They are looking very good and it will be nice to visit them again in a few weeks.
Game day today though and that is exciting. Our boys are ready to play and I am sure so is Toronto. It is always a great game to open the league with. I am sure the Nordecke will be hopping. Any new signs? Any new chants? Looking forward to the game. Let's just hope there is not some random rain storm that turns into a downfall of snow. I mean what was that, seriously...blew me away. But, looking forward to seeing everyone there. Come on out everyone, with your Hooligan bandanas, your Turbina drums flaring, and the Nordecke singing us onto a great start to the season. Be there, have no fear, and bring on the cheer.
Man, what the stupid, darn, gosh, jeeewillikers are you doing? Why are you stopping 100 yards from the red light? You do know you do not have to still get an "A" in driver's education, right?
I think this is a lot of people in Columbus, Ohio. If you think Columbus has some of the worst drivers please raise your hand up. If you are not raising your hand right now...you are one of them, haha. Seriously, I grew up in Chicago, Illinois. Now remember it is pronounced "El-eh-noy" not "Ill-eh-noise"...just had to clear that up. But, we are proactive drivers. The meaning of proactive-serving to prepare for, intervene in, or control an expected occurrence or situation, anticipatory. Yes, preparing and watching other drivers and knowing that you are in control of your car in the rain and all other times. Every city has awful driver's. Shoot I am probably one of them in a number of them.
Now, not only is it bad when it rains, but even if it drizzles a tad you know you're in for a long ride home. Raise your hand yet? Well, it is you then we are waiting for when it rains, haha. If there is a light snowfall, like less than 1 inch, oh man you are in for a dismal drive home.
I am not only talking about weather changes, but just straight awful driving. Like what is up with the slow turns? You do not even signal that you're turning and when you turn you act like your foot is stuck to the brake. Now, I have repented many times for my mockery of others. I am not a typical road rager. I mock people, and yes, I do feel bad when I do it. For instance, if someone decides to honk at me because I take the initiative to drive past them because they are a slow merger- I simply honk back, but as a song- i.e. they honk "honk-honk"...I honk "honk-honk-it-di-honk-honk-honk" (those are half honks in there). Or if someone raises their hands at me like, "What the flip are you doing turning in front of me so fast?" I wave back at them with both hands raised and smile so big. Oh man it is hilarious, because they are trying to get you mad by honking, but when you mock them back they get so mad.
I do mock and I do not think it is right anymore. Actually to be honest it comes out sometimes and I have to catch myself. I figure it is better than swearing and throwing a fit, right? So, I stopped doing it. I also realized my license plate has "JC" in it(Jesus Christ" to be exact). What I really do not want is someone making a generalization of others based on my plate.
So, if you are the person honking it may mean you are the bad driver or if you are gettin honked at it may mean...no...no...no...ohhh...crap...that means...I think this means I may be the bad driver ahhhhhhhhhhhh...please...help...I am...turning...into one of them.
The other day I posed my weekly question of the week, that started this week. The question was, "If you could be a superhero what would your power be and your name?" Well, this is one of my favorite questions to ponder as I would love to have a super power. You can see this with my in depth answer on that post. But, my wife made my wildest dream imaginable come true this past birthday. My birthday was in December and she surprised me with our friends coming over dressed up as a made- up superhero of their own. She gave me a present before everyone came over and the present was a very low budget (because I gave her a $15 limit), made by her, and made- up super hero outfit that fit me perfectly. She made armbands to be able to use some fun gadgets, and a sweet mask that held my true identity, and a skin tight suit so I would not be held back from running so fast. Oh yeah and she made this super aerodynamic cape that would flap in the wind as I ran fast and would make me look cool. (Embellishment placed on everything, haha)
Well, all my life I missed out on super fun parties because I was always playing soccer. Those parties would have fed my inner child that wanted a superhero party or a pirate party. I missed out on this stuff not only due to soccer, but due to a childhood of poverty. My mom was amazing in doing what she could do for us being a single mom raising 4 boys. But, we just did not have much and my mom tried with what she had.
Katie, my wife, being so amazing as she is, threw me a superhero party. It was one of my favorite birthday's ever. During the party we stood up and explained our name, what our powers were, and our outfits. Ha, makes me smile thinking about it. I know it is silly, but I am honest with who I am and I have always wanted a superhero party. Sweetie, you are the most amazing wifey, thank you for making my dreams come true for my birthday, haha. Also, for making my favorite birthday cake ever. It was a dark chocolate, 2 tiered, with peanut butter and chocolate glaze and peanut butter cream throughout the middle and top...I know just made your mind explode, ooh so good.
Below is my outfit with Maddie wearing a "Zayner, 24" jersey that was hand made. Also, my wife as my super fan, gotta love the Crew stuff, haha...We are the ZAYNERS and we fight crime everywhere and anywhere.
So, I was looking back at some pictures and found some when Maddie was just a little tyke. She is part West Highland Terrier (Her mom is in this picture) and part poodle. Interesting mix, but we love her so much. I love her family portrait with all her different colored family members. We love diversity, we cannot wait to have that more in our family with our children.
We found her on www.petfinder.com with a non profit animal adoption agency call ARF. We highly encourage rescuing dogs or should I say adopting them. Not only are there hundreds of thousands of dogs out there wanting a home, but it will cost you tops $200. Maddie is so sweet and we love her so much.
But, today Maddie tore up her newest toy. We bought a toy that had a guarantee that the dog would not tear it up and if they did you could get another one. Well, Maddie tore our first one apart in two days. We sent the picture over email to the company and they sent us a new one.
Soon we received the other in the mail and she decided it was her mission to destroy that one also. By the way, the first toy she had was a cool little monkey. We pulled this toy out of the package and they sent us this big furry possum. Yes, a possum, super weird, but i will go with it. Right from the start she started pulling the hair out, so I cut the toy's hair off. That worked until she found the ears. She bit those mostly off so instead of letting her tear apart the ears and leave it all around the house, I cut them off. Yes I cut off the ears also. I ghettoed this toy up, because Maddie was leaving pieces everywhere. Come on, those who have dogs know what I am talking about, a little sympathy please. Well, she made a hole in the toy and it was cool runnings from then on.
I was thinking about this, but what is with dogs and stuffing? Every dog loves to pull stuffing out of toys. It is not like they eat it, because they do not. If you know why, please let me know.
Well, it was her favorite toy and still is even though all the stuffing is out of it, it has no hair, and no ears. Sorry, Paulie the possum, that I had to cut off all your hair, ears, and all your stuffing is out. You are still well loved by the Zayner's. If you want to see what I did to the possum and what Maddie did also, check it out below.
Every week I will pose a question that either makes you think, laugh, or straight up think I am weird. I love hearing people's answers to different things and subjects. Here you go:
----If you could be a superhero, what would be your power and name?----
1)Jed, I've given this some thought...I would have multiple arms/hands, each with equally great dexterity. And each would have its own region of the brain controlling it, and all of these brain regions could perform different calculations simultaneously. And my name would be....The Great Handini?***Winner for best answer***
2)I would be able to read minds. And with that I would be able to speak and understand all languages. And my super hero name would be... Mentalist Matt. Or I always think it would be cool to be able to recall anything you ever read. So I could read a book once and then remember EVERYTHING in the book.
3)I wanna be morph so I can change into anyone and use their powers!!
4)I will do a mulligan... My name would be BestMan and I would wear a suit that was black and I would stand for hours at weddings...
5)Mine is super speed and my name would be BigZayn. I would not wear a cape, but my suit skin tight. With super speed not only would I be super smart because I have to notice things quick, my body would be super strong as to withstand super speed.
"The greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of inspiration."
-The advice Professor and scholar Cornel West gives to his students.
With Soccer 101 topics I am going to dissect what I think a good coach is every week from my perspective. I am doing this for myself and anyone else that wants to join me. I want to be a coach one of these days and hopefully a successful one on and off the field.
Inspiration is a tough task for a coach. But, it is the one thing that he can give to his players that will drive them to do the extra things that is needed in a game. I know from a player's perspective that it helps a ton if a coach delivers a pre-game speech that inspires us to play and to win every single moment of the game. When I was at Indiana University they used a guy by the name of Rob Kehoe who gave us "motivational" speeches throughout the season. He gave a couple in pre-season, preparing for the season, and one or two during the season. We definitely took in what he said, but not as much as we should have.
During the season he would send us these letters called "missiles." These missiles would give us a reminder of what to keep focused on and to help us during tough times in the season. I encourage coaches to write missiles to their players during their seasons. Not only does it give the coach time to think through his thoughts and words, but to deal with his emotions on different subjects. Because if you say something that destroys someone's/team's confidence you may lose that player/team mentally for awhile. Do a few of these a season, but not all the time as the players may get tired of it.
I have been with coaches who bring out famous quotes and try to instill them into us so we play like what it says. For example Rudyard Kipling said, "...The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack." The more ways kids and people are able to understand teamwork said from different people and in different ways, the better.
Give them the reasons by inspiring them and they will not need to find reasons to succeed. Players love playing for coaches that do the inspiring; it is easy to do battle for them.
One love. One Cause.
Hallelujah, there is no more chance of a lockout or a strike. We players and I know the league office never wanted a strike or a lockout. As a player I am so excited to know that we have a new agreement. I am looking forward to our first game now against TFC. I am sure all the fans can be excited about their season tickets and now they can look forward to our games.
We never wanted a strike, but we knew some things needed to change. Thank you fans for sticking by us and awaiting a decision. We knew this decision would not only affect our fans, but also our front office. We knew jobs could have been lost, lots probably. That is why the league and our player's reps worked tirelessly to come to an agreement. Again, thank you fans for sticking with us and being there for us.
For everyone out there who bashed Will Hesmer and just destroyed him on discussion boards and in private, that is just straight wrong. Will was never speaking for himself. We, as a team, stuck by Will's call on things and had his back. He represented the Columbus Crew player's in no way short of amazing. Thank you Will and everyone should thank Will for being such an amazing player's rep. He stood up for our rights and the interest's of our team and league. Thank you for spending countless hours trying to figure out a deal so there would not be a lockout or a strike.
Now, onto soccer ball and some more trophies, hhhoooorrrraaaahhhhhh...
Oswald Chambers says in "My Utmost for His Highest", "Many of the cruel things in life spring from the fact that we suffer from illusions. We are not true to one another as facts; we are true only to our ideas of one another."
I have been thinking about this quote a lot lately. I was hanging out with some friends of mine and this quote came up and we talked for awhile about it. Think about it, we immediately place a stereotype on people based on news coverage or what we have heard. Centuries we have created pain in others lives through an illusion of who they are. Grant it sometimes it is good to have an illusion of who someone is and what they may do to protect ourselves in certain instances. But, we are so quick to criticize people without factual evidence of who that person is. It is something I have noticed I can do a pretty good amount. I am working on killing those illusions and despairing of no one.
I know this is something that I had to work on before I got married and now while I am married. We have this illusion of how our wife/husband will be and these expectations. These expectations will never be met. We humans have a higher standard for things that involve us than to place it on a mere human being. The divorce rate is higher and higher because we selfishly feel like we deserve a better spouse and this is not so. No spouse will ever meet our true expectations. No person will ever live up to the high standard we create. But, we continually try and find it in so many others and other things. The more we realize human beings screw up, we will always make mistakes, and we are not perfect the closer we are to making things right.
I look at Jesus' life and He trusted no man, yet he was never suspicious or bitter to anyone. His confidence in God's grace and what it could do for any man was so perfect that he despaired of no one. I am not trying to impose Jesus onto people's lives, but we constantly can see, factually, that we humans will not be quenched by a human being. The more we release this standard from everyone and especially our spouses and turn it towards God is when we are moving towards a true quenching of our heart's.
Oswald says lastly, "There is only one Being Who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ."
Well, I recently found out people think my blog or the way I write may sound vulgar. Sorry to hear that. I do not use any swear words, never any crude jokes, and I thought I was clean. But, I can see talking about the bathroom stuff a couple times and watching people throw up is well not necessary and gross to some, probably gross to a lot of people. I will watch everything that I write so it is safe and sound form now on. I will picture my grandma and grandpa reading it or watching it and listening to what they think about it and slapping me over the head if something is not necessary. Again, sorry to hear that and sorry that I was not conscious of it. Give me a little break here, being the youngest of 4 bro's things are pretty open.
But, looking forward to training and working out with the team next week to prepare for our first game. The boys did well in Mexico. For being 9,000 feet above sea level and one goal away from moving on, that is awesome. Especially coming out of pre-season. I am excited to see more goals as I am sure Crew fans are also. Four goals in two games is a great number thus far. As a defender I feel like a fan on the field sometimes, because most of the time I am not apart of the goal that we score. So, sometimes I find myself saying, "That was sick, sweet shot, or whoooaaaa..". I comment on the goals to myself as a fan would. It is pretty funny.
I am looking forward to our game against TFC and what we will do against them. I look forward to seeing our fans go crazy and support us also. Every year something happens with the TFC fans that is a crazy story. Just hope no one gets hurt. Well, as long as nobody tears out the bleachers to our stadium and throws them on the field (this is what TFC fans did last year to some of our bleachers)...haha...just kidding.
Maddie, my dog, is trying to put her stuffed armadillo toy on my feet and looking up at me to play. Well, I guess that means it is time for me to go. Until next time...
So, yesterday Maddie found a clever way to chew on her bone. She was sitting under my feet getting after it. Oh yeah, well she was not getting after the bone, she was getting after my feet. If I have not told you yet, then I will let you know on a seriously disgusting and soothing thing Maddie does. She loves to lick my feet and Katie's especially. I do not know why she chooses to adore my wife's feet more than mine, but I will go along with it. Maddie, at times, will just make a bee line to Katie's feet. Sometimes we just stick our feet out to draw Maddie in for a good foot lick, haha. This probably sounds so gross to you guys, but yes we do that. Sometimes when our feet are getting licked the other person will come in with their feet and steal Maddie's talent from the other. Ohhh yes you do that, Sweetie, ha...
But, maybe my feet do not stink or do stink more than my wife's. I am trying to figure it out. Or maybe because I have an inch of calluses from playing ball on the bottom of my feet and they are just all janked up. I am now realizing that is probably the reason. Sweetie, the win goes to you for the smoother and better feet to lick. I will give you that one.
But, Maddie you're a smart girl even if you do lick our feet all the time, well done in using Mama's shoe for leverage chewing your bone, clever dog...well sometimes. Remember, this can be risky because she can mistake the shoe for the bone. Do not try this at home.
I think I saw this video on yahoo, but it is one of the cutest videos I have ever seen. I hope my kids do some super funny and sweet things like this, because if they do i will love being a daddy that much more. Enjoy the little girl perfecting the "whatever" phrase.
So, I talked to a few guys and asked them, "If anything ever happened to our league or you were retiring what would you want to do?" I asked them to give me one serious and one joke or funny one that they may want to do. You can let me know which one's you think are a joke or for real.
-Play bagpipes at weddings and funerals (wish I could).
-I have no idea, probably coaching.
-Dancer, no not exotic, even though I think I have some good moves for that career choice, but professional breakdancer. I will let Emilio do the more exotic stuff.
-Probably coaching, motivational speaking, living in a van down by the river.
-I would go to Zambia, to work with my buddies and their non profit.
-I would play soccer.
-Go play overseas.
-Work at Jennie's ice cream in downtown Columbus.
-Professional bass fisherman, I do not know if that is funny or serious.
-But, probably do some coaching or get into some real estate flipping.
-Clothing Apparel, sportswear, I mean like the production and making of it, how it fits and all. (Project Runway here I come)
-I would do my own version of Punk'd. I would go around Columbus and try and punk different restaurant owners.
-I want to play in the NFL.
-An unemployed hobo with a long beard.
-Professional couch layer-oner/facebook creeper.
-Seriously, I would probably just start taking classes.
-I would be a veterinarian, I like animals.
-Be a teacher or help out with OSU men's soccer, because I want to coach college maybe someday.
-I would go home and play ball in Venezuela.
-I would be a night club dancer (wink wink).
-I would do some coaching back in Ann Arbor.
So, my boy Nick just got done spending 10 months in Iraq and one of the first things he wants to do is help out with Filleo. He is in the Marine Corps. Nick thank you so much for being so free for Filleo and volunteering not only time, but financially. Through your hard work we will be able to help more children in need, thank you bro. Not only are you helping to keep our freedom, but you are helping children in need. You will always be apart of our family.
Nick is below with his welcome package of Filleo stuff from his new family. Sport it right, and sporting it well.