At some point in the 1990s, I was in a group of reporters when Julie Foudy was asked a simple question. Foudy, the co-captain of the U.S. Women’s national soccer team for 11 years, rarely gave simple answers. Her replies usually contained insight, humor, self-deprecation, a smile, or some combination of all of the above.
But if there ever was one, this question was a prime candidate for a simple answer. She was asked, “What sacrifices have you made in your life to become an elite athlete?” The reporter’s intent was to get a list of things other teenagers were able to do that Foudy was not because she was traveling the world playing soccer for her country.
Her answer gave what seemed to be an explanation of why someone like Foudy becomes an elite athlete and represents her country on the soccer field 274 times over 16 years. It also explains why she was successful in areas like contract negotiations, bringing awareness to child labor, and a host of other causes.
Foudy, you see, is not one to lay blame, point fingers, or make excuses. Setbacks and mistakes were not to be dwelt upon. They were something that needed to fixed, opportunities for either growth or revenge, depending the case. That’s why to this day, she refers to her Silver medal from the 2000 Olympics as “White Gold.”
So, when asked about her sacrifices, she quickly answered, “I never made sacrifices. I made choices.”
And that got me thinking about personal responsibility and the words we use. “Sacrifice” implies that you never really wanted to do it, that someone forced you or convinced you that you had to do it. It suggests that there’s someone else who bears at least a little responsibility. “Sacrifice” leaves a little part of blame available to assign if things don’t go well.
“Choice” says it was “all me.”
Where does that attitude begin. Obviously, parents have a huge role in developing personal responsibility and accountability in their children. But youth coaches can, if they choose, play a large role in it.
And DRIVN can help a coach in this process.
All youth coaches come to understand that as long as they keep answering questions, players will keep asking them. Making players find their answers in other ways is a step toward making them accountable and responsible. For the “When is” questions, all the answers are in their DRIVN calendar. So the correct response to a “When is” question is “Go to DRIVN and find out.”
In DRIVN’s “chat”, the “response required” feature certainly helps players be accountable, as pointed out by Greenwich High School football coach John Marinelli. Chat also provides a place where players can interact with each other and get information from each other.
Discover other ways DRIVN can help your players, your team and you as the coach, by watching a DRIVN demo. Request a demo here.