4) What Do You Hear About the One World Futbol?

You’ve probably heard about…

It’s a soccerball that is reportedly ‘nearly indestructible,’ designed especially for refugee communities and other poor segments of society that normally wouldn’t be able to afford or otherwise purchase their own soccer balls. The company suggests a “buy one give one” strategy. Has anyone in our Brigada family used these balls? Do they work as advertised and can you offer any kind of testimony? If so, please click “comment” under the online version of this item.

5) Revolting Soccer Balls: Do They Really Work?

soccketball[Note: We have just learned that Soccket balls have sold out of the current generation. Check their website soon, however, for a new generation that promises to be even more efficient.]

Anyone done any kick-arounds with these “Soccket” electrical generators? I’m serious: These are soccer balls that make electricity. Finally, my critics will see that there is a PURPOSE in soccer (more than me just enjoying it). Learn more at…

(By the way, read the cool story about their creation here…

Pretty awesome. These weren’t techies. They weren’t even engineers. This was a single Harvard class on science and the arts. Love it. Imagine the 13-year-old kid whose mother says, “Raul, will you go make some more electricity please? Your sister has to finish this book about Simon Bolivar.” “Ohhhhh all right Mama. [sigh] If that’s what you want.” He tries to hide his enthusiasm and play the part of a martyr. Then proceeds to go find 5 other guys for a fast 3-on-3 small-sided game. He comes back in 45 minutes and little Carmelita now has another 3 hours of reading time with her history book. “Anything to help the family,” he sighs. :-) Gotta love it. How can YOU and your teams use these pelotas? :-)

14) The BackPage: Reflections on a Season of Soccer —

On July 15, my wife almost always jokes, “See you in November.” You see, in addition to doing mission work at Team Expansion, I coach high school boys’ (men’s?) soccer on the side. Tomorrow (Monday), we open District Tournaments. It’s usually a great time to stop and take stock of the season. And so, because it’s happening “right now,” let’s see what lessons we can draw so far from coaching this particular team through the summer and fall:

*** Leadership finds its headwaters in a serving heart — Our two all-time senior captains aren’t bossy. They aren’t flamboyant nor do they constantly impress you with chatter about English footballers. What they DO have is a quiet strength that inspires confidence, stability, and consistency. The secret is to serve! It’s all about serving.

*** There is no “I” in Team — We were blessed this year to have TWO good goalkeepers, one a senior and the other a junior. As I tried to size them up in real competitions, I got into a habit of rotating them often (not always, but often). I’d play the junior keeper every third game or so, just to see how he did. In fact, I finally began alternating them evenly. The senior keeper didn’t like it a bit and, because he wasn’t dominating the playing time, he actually quit the team all together. I won’t try to pick apart his motives. I’ll only observe that, at the end of the day, even if he DID think he was better, if you ask me, he still needed to stay on the team. If it’s “all about the team,” then your concern isn’t for individual playing time. Rather, it’s focused on “how can we get the outcome we desire (which, in soccer, usually means to score goals).”

*** There is strength in multiple volunteers — Because I have a full-time job away from the high school where I coach, I simply couldn’t do this job were it not for a handful of extremely engaged parents who volunteer and “make the world go round.” I’ve become convinced that volunteers are the coolest people on earth. They don’t work for money; their only satisfaction is the internal, intangible fulfillment they get by knowing that they helped bring about the end-goal. If we had more people like them around the world, the earth might actually spin faster!

There are other conclusions too numerous to mention. But these 3 at least get you started. In one way or another, they all seem to focus on leadership and how it happens best, perhaps.

But what about you? What lessons have you learned from sport? How does soccer (or your favorite pastime) help YOU understand reality. When is the athletic field most like the world in which you live and how does it help you cope? Just click “Comment” in the comments below to pitch in. Thank you in advance for any comments you can share.

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