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Life Lessons Are Everywhere – Keep Your Eyes Open So You Don’t Miss Them

June 16, 2010 · 106 comments

in Life, Personal Finance

I am sure you are all tired of my soccer stories, but I have to share just one more (for now…)

An Awesome Soccer Player 🙂

Travel soccer tryouts were conducted this past weekend here in Michigan.  It is one of the most hectic weekends for many families as they race around to various teams ‘shopping’ their child’s soccer skills.  We were lucky in that our kids were already on teams they were very comfortable with, so their was no shopping for us.

For those unfamiliar with travel soccer, you take your kid to a tryout.  The coach either wants him or her on the team, or they don’t.   Kids that have played for the same team year after year may suddenly be cut.  Coaches lie before tryouts saying your child will make the ‘A’ team, and next thing you know, your child has been relegated to the ‘B’ team.  There are a lot of cutthroat coaches and parents out there, so you never know who you can trust.  If your child makes the team at tryouts, you sign a contract right then and there for the upcoming year (in most cases).   You see kids jump with joy, you see kids cry, you see parents storm away.  It is insane.

However, what I wanted to write about for today is not the nuances of soccer tryouts.  It is the life lessons that are learned from the process, that both you and your child can learn.  Here are just a few that I captured:

  1. Do NOT plan your future on a verbal contract.  Don’t ever feel safe until something is in writing.
  2. Find out what you are willing to pay for something before you even shop for it.  If you already know ahead of time that something is going to be outside your budget, then you won’t waste your time going after it.
  3. Connections are important in all facets of life.  If you have had a bad experience with someone or something, try not to spread a lot of negativity.  (Unless of course you are protecting someone from an unsafe situation.)  It is an incredibly small world, and you never know when you may cross paths with someone again.  Burning bridges is never a good idea.
  4. Gather all the facts you can ahead of time so you can make an informed decision.  Do not make any firm decisions based on what ‘might’ happen or hearsay.
  5. Once you make a decision, make the best of it.  Although a situation may not be optimal and you already made a commitment, then look forward and try to be as positive as possible.  Do the best you can to make it a good experience and don’t waste time looking back or thinking ‘what if’.  Obviously if you or your child are absolutely miserable, then reevaluate.

It is funny when I think about how all the above suggestions came from different facets of soccer tryout weekend.  As I said in the title, there are things you can learn everyday.  When these situations arise with your child, take some time to sit and talk to them so they too can learn.  You never know what just may stick!

If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment or subscribe to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Thanks for visiting!!!

{ 102 comments… read them below or add one }

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff June 16, 2010 at 10:05 am

I like #1 the best. I never trust an official agreement until it is in writing. For those of you who don’t know, my husband is a teacher but is trying to get a position as a school librarian. He’s been offered a librarian spot, but the contract has not been signed due to red tape and the actual lack of physical contracts from the printer. Until he comes home with a contract in hand, I don’t feel secure.

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Kris June 16, 2010 at 11:57 am

BFS – Best of luck on that contract arriving soon!!! Then you will be allowed to fully celebrate.

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bw June 16, 2010 at 10:51 am

Love the advice! Those are some pretty adult lessons to learn as a teen or pre-teen, but it will definitely help them in the future!

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Kris June 16, 2010 at 11:57 am

BW- I just hope he was paying attention! 🙂

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Susan June 16, 2010 at 11:53 am

What great insight, and all from soccer! I like #2, I think especially now we often get caught up in the emotions with purchases and then decide it is okay to go over our budget, and then it is all downhill from there! Thanks for the dose of reality and good advice.

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Kris June 16, 2010 at 11:59 am

Susan – Thanks for the kind comment! It is funny how these lessons in life just sneak up on you, when you least expect it!

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Dave June 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Great post! Those lessons are good no matter what you are facing in life. Thanks for sharing!

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Kris June 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Dave – Thanks for visiting!

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Money Reasons June 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Yep, it’s amazing what I’ve learned from soccer. At times, it has been great and at other times not so much…

Since I wasn’t able to play sports as a kid (long story), I didn’t know what to expect… Well let me say that it’s been an eye opener! If I had to do it all over again, I definitely would have got more involved with coaching (assistant or the main coach) and with the city soccer organization all around…

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Kris June 17, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Money Reasons – My kids have been on wonderful teams, and they have been on some absolutely horrific teams. By horrific, I mean horrific environment. That team won every game, but the awful environment was not worth it. I couldn’t get off that team fast enough. It was the perfect definition of ‘winning isn’t everything’.

Sorry you couldn’t play sports as a kid – I hope everything is ok.

Keep getting involved. The sports world needs all the good guys it can get to keep the insane parents in line!

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Squirrelers June 16, 2010 at 11:30 pm

I actually think that these experiences can teach the kids a lot too. In life, not everybody wins, and some people succed in some situations and others don’t. Sometimes it’s about who’s really the best, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes people are true to their word, sometimes they aren’t (why things in writing are better).

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Kris June 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Squirreler: You raised a good point- kids do need to learn that not everyone wins, even if they deserve to. I should have added that one! Thanks for the thought!

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