The arrogance in American youth soccer is unbelievable… From age 8 all the way up to high school, college and pro. I ask my players who play top level leagues, how many of their teammates and opponents are arrogant. They say “75% or more have a prideful attitude”.
It’s not just soccer either, but most sports. Where does it come from and how can we help change the culture? There’s a difference of confidence or swag vs arrogance and much of it shows in our words and attitudes.
Character when it comes to pro and youth athletes
My question is why are so many youth soccer players so “proud”? There’s no reason to act or feel that you’re better than someone else because you are “better” at soccer.
As a society we frown on All Star Pro athletes who are arrogant and there’s less reason a high school kid should act that way.
Everyone knows we should act with humility. So why should a kid who most likely will never get a pro contract be arrogant? Does it come from the parents or lack of teaching?
Celebrate people for who they are not their talent
In high school soccer if you’re a starter on the varsity team, do you look down on your peers who barely make the JV team? There are thousands of players better than you, so how would you feel if people treated you badly just because they are better at soccer?
Pride is the number one flaw in people. Usually prideful people are the last ones to know they are this way… When you’re talented, good looking, rich it’s easy to think too highly of yourselves.
It’s so important to wake up every day and humble ourselves and do away with arrogance. Doing this starts in the mind and shows by how you act and what you say when around others.
Pride comes before the fall
Pride comes before the fall
For most people there will be a time where you are humbled. It might be at a young age, or it could be later on in life, but it will come.
Look at Cristiano Ronaldo in 2022 with Manchester United… Great player for many years, but nobody is bigger than the game. If he handles things differently in terms of attitude – things would have been different.
One of the most important things is to realize if you are arrogant, so that you can humble yourself. You might be humble most of the time, but if that prideful attitude creeps in on the regular – even one word each week it shows. You might not see it, but others do.
Don’t look in the mirror and forget what you look like… Meaning, you might have to remind yourself daily how to act and speak. Be thankful for what you have and remember there are players all over the world who are better players than you.
You want to have a strong personal brand… Your brand is not what you think, but what others think about you.
The good news is tomorrow is a new day and a chance to bring a positive change in attitude.
Proud versus pride
Being proud of who you are and the things you do is okay. It’s good to be proud of your accomplishment, race, gender or team…
Then there is pride [ arrogance ]… The act of thinking you did everything on your own and that you’re better than others. Sure, you can take pride in what you do, but having pride is different.
How to help others see
Whether you’re a parent, player or coach there is plenty of opportunity to help others see the difference in being confident vs arrogant.
Pride is the #1 thing that causes people’s downfall. A lot of the time it’s not being taught from an early age. It can also be from not being surrounded by other people who correct you and keep you sharp.
Going forward let us all look into the mirror and see the plank in our own eyes, so we can help others get the splinter out of theirs.
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