Saturday Soccer and The Game of Life

“Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.”

Jawaharlal Nehru

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Now in recovery mode and staying with my family in Canberra, I am invited each saturday morning to watch my grandchildren play in their respective soccer matches . My grandson Jack is obsessed with the game and I’m sure by the leg twitches, that he plays soccer in his sleep. My grandaughter Josie is older and more strategic in her play.

A person who plays the game knowing he will win, doesn’t impress me as much as the person who plays the game even though he knows that he might lose.”

N’Zuri Za Austin

Like any game, there are parallels with life. In fact, I wonder whether games were invented to allow us to practice the many challenges and opportunities with which life presents us.

Like failing to get what we want.

“Your strength doesn’t come from winning. It comes from struggles and hardship. Everything that you go through prepares you for the next level.”

Germany Kent

It’s going to take a while before Jack learns the benefits of losing, something which many adults never learn to accept and work with.

Winning cannot become your habit unless defeats have torn you apartand you sit in the battle field stitching back yourself
one piece at a timelaughing in the faces of all defeats.”

Chetan M. Kumbhar, Panasu The Golden City & The Capasstars

And then of course there’s team membership; my son the coach, does his best to ensure that all players have the opportunity to develop their skills and shine.

I used to teach team dynamics in corporations- in a former life- and know the importance of acceptance and the equal opportunity for all team members to participate in achieving the goal. In fact, as I stand along the sidelines on a chilly and sunny Canberra saturday, I reflect on those teams I taught which excelled both in tasks and process, the ones which fully utilised their diversity.

“In a team, silence isn’t golden it’s deadly ” Mark Seaborn


“Winning and losing was suddenly elevated to be about things that had no score and no teams and no uniforms; just one player at a time dealing with his life, his own struggle, his own triumph and torment.”

Dan Groat, A Punctual Paymaster

At times, I also reflect on the other types of teams and groups I’ve belonged to and the lessons I’ve learnt about exclusion and scapegoating.

When you start to question you are part of the problem.”

Bert McCoy

So although its just a kids game on a Saturday morning, everyone, player coach, parent, grandparent and onlooker is being offered the opportunity to learn something new, or reflect on something deeper about the game of life

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