The Belief/Opportunity/Success Conundrum
By Joe Ulm
Success requires opportunity, opportunity requires belief, belief requires success. Put another way…when we’re successful, it’s easy to believe in ourselves because we have proof that our efforts create successful outcomes. Therefore, we’re more likely to embrace opportunities, and embracing more opportunities gives us more chances to be successful. It’s a chicken and egg situation, but in this case, we don’t need to figure out which should come first (belief, opportunity, or success) – the real question is…how the heck do we teach this to our players? The answer has two parts.
First, we need to recognize that embracing opportunity almost always requires us to do something new or change in some way, and that means being uncomfortable. For our players, uncomfortable often means a painful experience – especially if they’ve put effort into an opportunity in the past and failed. So the first part of the answer is that they need to understand how belief, opportunity, and success work together – and that even if they fail, it’s their belief in themselves that will can carry them through the next failure, and the next, until they’re successful. As adults, we know the path isn’t easy, but we also know it’s worth it because we understand how the three concepts are connected.
The second part of the answer is to create the best possible environment that allows players to learn these concepts; an environment rich in opportunity and full of people who encourage and support every player. Because players will fail more than they’ll succeed, initially. Just like we did. But that’s what we’re here for. Parents, coaches, club, and community, teaching, supporting, encouraging. United in purpose, United together.
Stay United, everyone.