Happy Monday to you all.
This past weekend was similar to the last few - without soccer/football. I would typically be traveling the state of Michigan coaching 3-4 teams. The schedule would be packed. A two hour drive in some cases for a 10am kick off on the east side of the state, followed by another 2-3 hour drive to our home fields for a 3pm and 5pm kick off in some cases.
Following up on last weeks blog and the talk on being alone or choosing to spend time alone, I still opt for this tactic. It became somewhat normal for me even beyond high school. I maintain that it was good for me growing up and that has not changed. Back then it allowed me to focus on playing and training. Nowadays it aids me in business endeavors, education, reading, writing, learning and provides a calm and positive environment when exercising. Somewhere in between then and now I made the decision to up and leave on a few occasions. I chose to leave my home at age 16, friends, teammates and a comfortable lifestyle behind. After a successful 2006 freshman year at West Texas A and M I had a decision to make. I could have stayed and done well for the next 3 years but was faced with the option of transferring to Buffalo, New York. I took a chance and was flown to Buffalo on a visit. I was impressed with the facilities and future that awaited. I will never know what the other path had in store for me but that door had closed and a new chapter would be written. In the summer of 2007 I trialed for Team Great Britain in Warwick, England and was included in the squad to compete in The World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand. I remember getting the call up from manager Graeme Dell whilst at work. I had got a summer job stripping and making beds in a hotel in Exeter for the summer just to make a few dollars. I was filled with emotion and teared up after the call. We had a successful run. We faced Mexico, Japan and Kazakhstan in the group stages. I was able to bang in three goals and assist a couple, including the game winner in a 1-0 win over Kazakhstan in the final group game. This saw us advance to the quarter finals against Canada. We ended up losing the game but qualified for the 2009 games in Belgrade, Serbia. The summer in Thailand had prepared me for my first season in Buffalo. The 2007 year saw me lead the MAC in goals (8) and a painful double overtime loss in the conference final against powerhouse Akron.
Looking back, I would not have experienced any of the above if I didn't make some tough decisions. When you come to a cross roads, all you can do is have belief in your ability and move forward. During this quarantine, I miss the long drives across the state but have come to the conclusion that taking time to be alone allows us to:
Sacrifice - Perhaps one of the toughest things to do. Avoid that party or event with friends whether you are young or older. Get ahead of the crowd, be a shepherd, not a sheep. There is no better investment that investing in yourself.
Find Clarity and Be Decisive - without distractions or outside judgement, it enables quicker decision making. You are able to trust your gut instinct and save time. Like the purest of running water, see through your clouded mind, cleanse your thoughts and find the purest and most effective outcome.
Be Creative - some of the best dreams and ideas come about through visions and connecting with your mind. Senses are honed in and not distracted and this can be powerful.
Adjust, Adapt and Pursue - Some things go wrong, including the decision making process. Some decisions backfire, leading to failure. Fear not! Gather yourself, assess the situation and find the solution. Once you have the answers or an alternative plan of attack, come back stronger, be persistent and execute!
Find Peace/Therapy - You do not always have to be in business mode. Sometimes, putting on your favorite music and having a sing song brings joy and happiness. If not music then take in the sound of birds chirping, waves crashing and wind blowing. Use the gift of sight to take in stunning scenery and realize how blessed we are to be in the presence of such beauty. Using our senses to their fullest potential can be very therapeutic.
I have not yet practiced mindfulness or meditation nor have I yet looked to understand what those things are but I sense being alone and recharging mentally is very similar. When coaching, I am constantly tuned in and educating players. Pre and post game I engage and chat with parents. The time before and after is precious and a time for preparation and/or reflection.
helping others in our summit up! community
Kimberly Courtney - Scout and Cellar
Kimberly Courtney from Portage, MI is a busy wife and mom to two young girls. She is also an avid wine lover. While researching many of her traditional favorite wines, she was shocked to learned that lurking in traditional mass-produced wine were hundreds of synthetic pesticides, dozens of chemical additives and sweeteners as well as high levels of sulfites. Looking for a better solution she partnered with Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted™ wine in 2018 to become an Independent Wine Distributor.
Scout & Cellar partners with the small growers and family-owned farms and wineries to produce Clean-Crafted organic wines that are free from added sugar and chemical additives, grown naturally without pesticides and vinified by hand in small batches.
For a wine to be considered Clean-Crafted, it goes through two rounds of independent lab testing to guarantee that it's free of yucky stuff and has fewer than 100ppm of total sulfites. Farming and production practices are also evaluated to confirm that they are, in fact, Clean-Crafted.
Kimberly loves sharing her passion for Clean-Crafted wine with fellow wine lovers.
For more information, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at https://scoutandcellar.com/?u=cleanwinebykc.
If you want to be featured in our helping others section, email email@example.com. It does not matter where in the world you are, Summit Up! will highlight you, your business or someone you know of in our weekly blog.
I hope this weeks blog gives you a better insight into the path I chose for myself. It wasnt always the easiest or most popular choice but set me up with a strong foundation. Choosing to be alone built a strength of mind, allowed me to dedicate, allowed me to critique myself and above all, NEVER afforded me the opportunity to become comfortable. This week, I encorage you to step outside of your comfort zone and become your biggest critic. Until next week, Summit Up! you've got this.
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quote for the week
“Once the decision is made, do not look back, do not second guess your decisions.”
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!