1. The Power Of Practice
2. Belief vs. Experience
3. Being a BIGGER Monster
The setting is a small hick town in Texas where the plant closed down, everyone is poor, and the kids at school have nothing good to believe in themselves. The opening scene shows four kids covering themselves in cheetos and letting a flock of pigeons molest them for fun. There is no optimism, just hopelessness. A foreign exchange teacher from London comes to the school for the summer and starts a soccer team.
The kids are not paying attention in school, so the teacher takes them out for soccer practice. There is no desire, no coordination and the kids are not really into it. The teacher registers the kids for the first team game the next day after their first practice. They get killed.
1. The Power of Practice
Most parents protect their kids from failure and leave them in a world without any challenges for growth. These kids had a taste of teamwork, and even though they got killed, a fire was lit and they WANTED to practice because each child CHOOSE to practice. It was not forced on them. The more they practiced, the more they were seen around town, the town started to take notice and support the team. The more they practiced, the more each child had something that was theirs, internally, that could never be taken away and each child found their confidence.
The teacher also started with nothing but a ball. She did not have a proper field, uniforms, goals or shoes. Just a old ball. There I saw the power of soccer because anyone can play, all it takes is a ball and some free space.
2. Belief vs. Experience
Most movies have a “rebirth” scene characterized by some sort of water. This movie had a rainshower during practice. The parents were watching the practice from the sidelines and urged all the kids to STOP. It was raining. The coach told them to STOP. The coach tried to force them to STOP by taking the ball away. She couldn’t. The parents decided to help the coach STOP the kids and they could not. They all believed it was time to STOP until the EXPERIENCED playing soccer with the kids. Once they felt the joy of play and had no fear of getting dirty or wet, the joy of play took them to a new place once they had the experience.
The kids did not waste any energy getting the community to “believe” in them. The coach didn’t waste any energy getting to kids to “believe” in soccer. Once the kids and the community had the experience of the joy of playing soccer, everything started to come into place. The kids showed the commitment to practice, not preaching any kind of belief and everything came into place.
They made their own jerseys and kept playing, and winning. Then real uniforms and shoes with cleats were donated. As a coach, my favorite scene was when the kids tried to fix the lawn mower to fix the abandoned field. They start it and lose control of the riding mower, and it knocks down the fence holding about 5 cows.
The cows get loose... and five hours later the field was “eaten” down and kids are complimented for doing a great job, completely by accident. I love it when my clients find the hidden gems in what appears to be misfortune or accident.
3. Be The Bigger Monster
The weakest link in the team was the goalie. He was letting too many shots thru. When the other team came bearing down on him, he would see the opponent as a bigger monster. All the parents gave the standard advice, “Keep your eye on the ball! Stay focused! You can do it!” It did not help.
At the final game, the goalie shared his fear with the coach. The coach told him to, “Be the bigger monster.” When most people have a fearful belief, they repress it or avoid it. That is what creates a addiction, nothing more than an avoidance of unpleasant feelings inside oneself. The coach told the goalie to feel the fear, see the monster and be the bigger monster! Go thru the feeling be feeling it fully.
The movie shows the goalie becoming the sum of all his fears and creates a presence that the opponent felt and feared more.
The movie is a great metaphor for coaching. You need to start with a positive thought, but follow that thought with the ACTION of practice. Stop filling yourself with beliefs and start experiencing what it is you want to change or manifest in yourself. You do not have to have all the answers, you do not have to be perfect to start with. Just start and the rest will fall into place. That which doesn't, whatever your biggest weakness is to overcome in the practice you choose, feel deeper into the monster until you are the bigger monster.