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Be The Best.

Let’s face it.

Part of this ’10 years later’ thing is that I read a few posts from the past. One I was thinking about this week came to mind as I was watching a little Premier League action last weekend. With no crowds and manufactured crowd noise it was an interesting watch but great to see live sports in any event. The way you face – is an expression I learned from Davie B (you know who you are) on the soccer pitch. The main point is that you may be turned around and facing away from your goal. That’s ok. That’s the direction you should play at the moment. Going backwards is a powerful method to move forward. Kinda sounds like pandemic recovery to me. Many times since 2010, we’ve had to play the way we faced. We needed to make a defensive move so we didn’t lose control. Ten years later, I see the wisdom from those words more than ever. Here’s the original post from 2011.

Football (Soccer ball)
Image via Wikipedia

One of the things I love about Saturday mornings is watching a little Premier League Soccer as the schedule permits.  With games as early as 5 and 7am, the timing works well with the newspaper and a good cup of coffee.

I love the skill, the speed, the set-up and I love those British announcers use of the English language.  Their phrasing and commentary adds a poetic quality to the experience.

We’ve played a lot of noon hour soccer with my work gang over the years.

It’s not quite at Premier League level…but you wouldn’t know it from the locker room stories told just after the match.

When you play sports and you are in the heat of the moment field-of-play one thing you’ll hear is players shouting to other players.  Usually instructions come in bursts of 2 or 3 repeats.  Move the ball, move the ball, MOVE THE BALL…all increasing in urgency.

Ok, that last one is what gets yelled at me a lot, so maybe I’m just sensitive.  Joking aside, I’ve wondered about this form of communication and liken it to military instruction in the heat of the battle.  You want to be clear about your communication and there’s no time to waste with niceties.

One of the most interesting lines I’ve heard a million times on the soccer pitch is, ‘the way you face’.

When you are playing soccer the objective is pretty clear.  You need to score on the opponent’s goal.  In order to do this you should be moving the ball forward toward the enemy’s net.

However, many times you don’t receive the ball in a position where going forward makes the most sense.

In other words, if you receive the ball and you happen to be turned towards your own goal, your natural instinct may be to make an immediate turn and try to push the ball forward.

That could be the worst move.

When you hear, ‘the way you face’, ‘the way you face’, ‘the way you face’, it’s a reminder from your teammate to gain control of the ball and move the ball in the direction you are facing at the time which may appear counterproductive but ultimately allows your team to go forward.

I’ve thought about that phrase a lot in the game of life.

Sometimes turning too quickly and trying to push forward to the opponent’s goal is not the right move.

Playing the way you face, ie passing the ball ‘backwards’ before your team moves the play forward again protects possession and ultimately provides a greater opportunity to score.

Too heavy on the soccer analogies?

I think I may get another Americano and watch game 2 of the Premier League.

By Randy Friesen

Randy Friesen is a business strategist, manager and educator based in Vancouver, BC and Detroit, Michigan. He is also a husband and father. He loves the creative process and is active in creating art and music.

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