Lesson three from Ted Lasso. Be a “Roy”!

Lesson three from Ted Lasso. In lesson one we talked about being positive, but being open to sitting with people in their pain (Ted). Lesson two dealt with being supportive of the leader and learning to be a great follower (Beard). In lesson three we’re looking at the value of pushing your team, remembering that everyone needs your coaching and that life has seasons. (Roy).

Who is Roy?

Roy is someone who has a great deal of actual experience. He has played the game at a high level. He’s young enough to relate to the needs of the players but experienced enough to know that the game can’t be played forever.

Roy is a tough guy. He doesn’t accept excuses from anyone and he doesn’t tolerate excuses from himself. But, there is a soft heart under his tough exterior. He cares about the people around him and he cares about the team.

Roy pushes the team

I love attending workshops and seminars that help me to be better at my craft (Band directing/teaching). Years ago I was in a session with DCI legend Michael Cesario. He looked at us and said the following:

“Most of you will not have highly successful groups. The reason why you won’t have great groups is because you won’t push them hard enough. You will look at them on a swelteringly hot summer afternoon and think they are going to die. Your imagination will make up scenarios that something terrible is going to happen to the students and it will be your fault. So, you will look at them and tell them that you are ending practice early. And, those same kids who looked like they were going to die a moment ago will now scream at the top of their lungs and run to the band room.”

The above is a paraphrase, but it covers the basic gist of what he said. We are afraid to push people on our team. “What if they quit?” “What if I push too hard and they get hurt (physically/emotionally)?” “What if they hate me?” If you are thinking these things you should know this. Yes, they might quit and no they will probably not get hurt (use reason here!) and yes, they may hate you for a while. You are the coach/leader. You know what it will take to reach excellence in your area. If you care about your team, you will set high standards and push! And, if you are thinking these things you will probably not push too hard. If you aren’t thinking these things…. yes, you are probably pushing your team too hard.

Teach/coach everyone

Roy has a player that he doesn’t like (Jamie). You’ll have people on your team that you don’t like. For a period of time Roy ignores Jamie and refuses to coach him. But Jamie is the key to the team’s future success.

I find this to be extremely difficult. Prima donnas (or as Roy would say, Pre-Madonna) are irritating. And, if you are someone who had to always work hard, it can be frustrating to watch someone else who is gifted. This will test your ego. Do you want your team to thrive, or do you want to squash the spirit of someone who could be your most important player? Chew down on your ego, bite the bullet and teach!

Life has seasons

Lastly, Roy is a footballer who then becomes a coach. Playing football was his identity. But, like all of us, he grew older and could no longer play the game at the same level. He went through a season of life change. We all experience these changes.

Roy grieves the loss of football and then moves on. Nothing lasts forever. At some point you’ll need to move on to something new. You might change jobs, or move. Maybe your change will be retirement. Grieve your loss and take the next step. It takes Roy a while to find his work. He struggles to fit in. We’ll struggle as well, but if we listen to people we trust we will find our new challenge.

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