After sending out my weekly news letters, through the years, I noticed a curious phenomenon.
After sending out my weekly news letters, through the years, I noticed a curious phenomenon. To help you understand, I’ll use this episode that happened to me when I was living in Milano, Italy.
One of my colleagues at work, wanted to get a different car. So, as often happens during a coffee break among men, we were talking about cars. He was telling me that he had the intention to buy a used car, pre-owned 6 months, and pay $25,000 for it. (I’m using dollars to help you better understand).
I said:” Wow! Why are you spending $25,000 to buy a used car when you can get the same car brand new for $29,000?”
He answered, a little rudely:” If you give me the other $4,000, I’ll surely buy it new!” in a tone that was to underline that it was none of my business. I said:” Sorry. You’re right. It’s not my business.”
After a few weeks, he came to work with the car that he had bought and, with other friends, we complimented him saying: ”You were absolutely right, it looks brand new!” And he said:” It is new!!! I’m not so stupid! Why should I buy a used car for $25,000 when with $29,000 I could buy the same car, brand new?” I went away, without saying a word, because everything has a limit! After only a few weeks he was saying exactly what I said, without the word ‘stupid’, like the idea was his idea and I was sustaining the opposite!
This has happened during my life, many times. Probably, the problem is that I have a good memory and I remember exactly what was said. Or maybe, people talk just to talk, just for the pleasure of saying the opposite of what others say, because they don’t want to say: “yes, you are absolutely right!”
So, coming back to soccer, in the last few years, discussing with parents, coaches, players and soccer lovers, or sending out the news letters, I often underline aspects that, at the moment were very controversial but, after a few months or a year, I heard the same people who were challenging my arguments, now sustaining them, as if they were their ideas and convictions!
It’s O.K. I’m not looking for recognition or gratitude. I just care that some principles that I consider correct about developing soccer in this country, are put on the fields.
And I’m not only about opinions. I’m very happy that, sometimes, when I propose some exercises in the news letters on Wednesday, I happen to see those exercises being done at practices by teams. This is great!
And it’s for sure like that, because they are exercises that I’ve never seen done before by these teams. Like moving the team as an unit, or to teach players to hit with the head, catching the ball with the hands after it is punted by the keeper, to force the player to at least go to the correct position.
The one that gives me the greatest satisfaction to see being done by a team, is to cross the side line all together, and yell “Soccer Field!”, putting emphasis on the fact that the soccer field is a space apart and is not just a piece of land with grass like all the other spaces around the field! They even did that at the end of the game, to underline that the game stays there on the field. Now, by crossing the lines and coming out, the kids, in that case girls, are not soccer players anymore and they can go back to acting like girls, in their daily lives!
Also here, the fun part is that, I’ve never seen this done before. But the Saturday of the same week as the news letter, the team above did it at a tournament. When, from across the fence, I ‘innocently’ asked the coach who didn’t recognized me, how much time they had been doing that, he answered: ”2 years!!!” People are really without shame!
So, it takes a little time, but something that I send out, like a message in the bottle, sometimes reaches the right shore and someone opens it and reads the message. In that message, I don’t ask anyone to come to my island and save me. I’m very comfortable on my island by myself!
Just read my message in the bottle and, if you find it interesting, transfer the information to the youth players. You have my permission even to say that they are your ideas. I don’t care. What I care about is to transfer the information.
Just recently, a dear friend coach, let me know that he received a circular email from a referee in charge of the referees in his league, in which, not only a concept was expressed that I had underlined the day before in my weekly news letter about refereeing, but the text was just copied and pasted, without giving the source, as if it was his idea!!!
My friend wrote to him saying: ”I noticed that you and coach Gianni, have the same opinion about………………………………...”
It was funny! So, for now, I don’t care about copyrights, I just care about spreading ideas that I think could be good for improving the level of youth soccer in this country. Just please, don’t take all my articles or my novel “The Team” and print a book with your own name.
That, would be a little too much! The book is already a reality and, if you’d like to know more about it, please go to:
Posted on 13 Sep 2007 by coachgianni