Happy Monday everyone!
This weeks blog comes from Alex Mendoza, former professional soccer player and now youth soccer coach and mentor. I had the pleasure of first meeting Alex through our mutual friend and mentor, Dr. Carlos Fontana. Enjoy!
Hi everyone, I hope you are doing well!
Change of pace for this week. I was asked to share some of my experiences with Summit Up! My background is in football (soccer) as well. I have played at some of the highest levels of the game. I am a huge football fan and I love to see all the talented footballers we have here in America. I love training and helping players reach their full potential. I am having a tough time choosing just one topic I feel passionately about to share with you. To keep things in perspective the majority of my experiences have been on the football field from the professional ranks as a player, all the way down to the youth ranks as a coach. With that said there are two areas that I’ve learned in life and football that need some serious attention. Attitude and ego need to be reevaluated and checked.
What’s with the passive attitude on life? Countless times I am asking myself why is everyone so complacent? Why are all these young soccer players performing at average levels when there is so much to play for? I imagine they are at least showing up because they enjoy it, I hate to imagine their attitude and work ethic towards things that are not enjoyable, like sitting in a classrooms for 8 hours a day. I was blessed to be in an environment doing what I love but also being demanded to give my absolute best each and everyday. Not because that was written in my contract but because if I didn’t, there were hundreds if not thousands of qualified candidates that could take my place. What a great place to be where every single person that surrounds you gives 100% effort. Everyone had a go getter attitude and sometimes even a mean and nasty attitude because everyone is hungry for more. Where is the hunger?! For the majority it does not exist. The young people are not to blame they learned it from us, the older generation. My short experience in a “real” work environment was shocking to me. I spent most of my days putting fires out that were caused by terrible decision making, carelessness, and just pure laziness. Some people were very sharp dedicated and professional of course, but the majority got by with the bare minimum. The youth is watching and learning. Why do I believe this passive attitude has taken over? To keep it short, we have it too easy and we do not count our blessings enough. Be grateful you won the lottery and are blessed to be in this country, one of the countries with the best quality of life in the world. Have you forgotten just south of our border the minimum wage is a little over $6.00 A DAY!? See if that puts your feet back on the ground. If you have children and provide a beautiful home and life for them, hats off to you. Let them know that big house and big yard and every meal provided is not normal and they need to recognize that blessing. Let them know the thousands of dollars spent on their soccer each year is not normal. Let them know that practicing on grass and turf fields with professional coaches is not normal! I was 20 years old before I ever had to play on a dirt field, my friends in Mexico looked at me in disbelief when I said, “ Are we really going to play on that?”
We are setting the standard for future generations, count your blessings everyday. Focus on what you do have instead of what you do not. Set goals for yourself to get out of that comfort zone. Think about all the people who would be doing more with half the qualities you have and the same opportunity. I hate seeing young soccer players who can’t communicate with others, who are so nervous and uptight because they only operate behind a video game controller and a screen. Their mentality is good, bad or indifferent but they still have a meal waiting for them at the end of the day.
Most soccer fans remember the US not qualifying for World Cup in Russia. Does anyone know the last time US Soccer qualified for the Olympics? 2008 and even then didn’t make it beyond the group stage. US soccer has played one Olympic game since the turn of the century. This passive mentality trickles down to this as well. The Olympics are basically the sub-23 World Cup. It provides great experience for young players who may not have a chance or any consistency on the senior national team. In 2012 Mexico won the gold medal. I was privileged to have teammates and competition that was part of that wining team. I also played with some American players that were on the team that did not qualify for the games. Was there a big difference in individual quality between the two countries? I would say no. The Americans lost, everyone went back to their clubs and life went on. The Mexicans took their opportunity and were hungry to make a difference, that for some of them that was their way out. Their big ticket to their greatest dreams. They didn’t have a passive mindset, they didn’t have a safety net like most of us Americans. It was great success or that well worn path of the Mexican professional footballer. Which is a spectacular accomplishment, but they had an attitude for more and it changed their lives forever. More to come from me in addition to the above in the coming weeks....stay tuned!
Helping others in our summit up! community
I am a Health Coach and a Personal Trainer. I work with busy moms who struggle with losing stubborn weight. I help them lose the extra pounds and feel good about how they look in their body!
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What a great read for our youth and even for us older people. A big thank you to Alex for guesting this week.
I believe upbringing is key to the success of the youth. It was installed into me to never be satisfied with my current success. This kept me hungry and enabled me to set high standards for myself in my goals for sporting success. Although I fell just short of a long term contract, the hunger stayed with me and I needed to be successful in all that I did. Still to this day, I feel the need to improve, work hard, look for ways to improve personally and for the business I am in. It is important that these messages are shared so that we can influence others and have an incredibly positive impact on those around us. It is a competitive world and there is always somebody better than you that could replace you at any time. If that doesn't keep you on your toes then I don't know what will.
Thanks for reading, I hope this gets you thinking. Until next week, Summit Up! you've got this.
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Quote for the week
"For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer."
Dan Bulley has dedicated his life to youth development through his own experiences and living in football/soccer. Having played at professional clubs in England and been on 4 continents, Dan has settled in the U.S and is currently the owner of DBSS (Dan Bulley Soccer School). He carries a bachelors degree in sociology and a masters degree in coaching sports performance. Dan created Summit Up! to motivate and inspire both youth and adults to maximize their potential and to spark a strength of mind when the going gets tough. "The journey to your summit has only just began." Summit Up!