[THE PITCH] To get into the heart of a team, you have to let your teammates into your heart. That’s what I have been trying to do here in Sweden. And that’s exactly why this experience has been so meaningful to me. Perhaps it doesn’t seem like such a feat… becoming friends with your teammates?… but for a person who spent years building a fortress to protect my feelings, it was hard work tearing down that wall and letting people in. Then, to be told that perhaps this very behavior is thwarting my football career and progress….well…it is something to consider.
Last week, my coach Torbjörn requested we have a meeting. Lying on our turf field, he said that he had noticed that I seemed particularly stressed and uninspired during our frustrating last match. He had his theories and talking points, but one particular comment grabbed my attention. He diagrammed our lineup (X’s and O’s) on his napkin in typical Torbjörn form. Drawing a circle around the central players on the team—the center-backs and the center-midfielders—he pointed to the circle and said, “This is the heart of the team.” He explained that wide players have their roles and relationships, but sometimes they get left out if the ball stays on one side…. But he continued, “…and I know how it feels as a forward, a forward has a different role. And that role is to be alone. You have to be a certain type of person to be a striker; the type of person who thinks about themself. That type of person can find a way to win a game even if the team deserves to lose… without getting frustrated.” He looked at me and said… “Both on and off the field, you try to come in here, to the heart of the team. And we need you to be a forward, alone, and we need you to score.”
My blog is often about the parallels that run between my game and my life… and here was an analogy that I had clearly missed: what your position says about who you are… Is it possible to analyze a person based on her position on a team? Hmmm….
- Continue on at Christen’s blog [x]