Brad Evans' Final Olympic Blog: The ‘Long View'
Natalia's 2011 World Cup and 2012 Olympic soccer experience could, in some circles, be considered a failure - IF the measuring stick is solely result-based. We all know that today's society places an extreme value on results, putting product over process. As educators though, we have a responsibility to place an appropriate value on the ‘Long View'; in other words, helping students understand that the process of learning is indispensable to their long term growth and development. This is not to say that results are not relevant, results are extremely important - IF they are used to teach students how to develop, to improve, to grow. In the overall development of women's soccer in Colombia, arriving on the international stage has been a massive first step. One of Natalia's long-term professional goals is to return home and help her country make greater strides in its support of women's soccer.
While Natalia's recent international experience at the World Cup and the Olympics may have not produced favorable results on the field, her immediate pain is less relevant if she is eventually able to take the ‘Long View' and value the lessons learned. (And in case you're wondering, I know she will). Likewise, I find it important to take the ‘Long View' on how I assist my student-athletes, like Natalia, through their collegiate years. As a coach, I am obviously judged by wins and losses, a job I willingly signed up for. However, I (and every one of my fellow coaches within our department) find great job satisfaction mentoring in helping our student-athletes prepare not just for four years, but rather for the next 40 years. When coaching is placed within this ‘Long View', we can more appropriately help our players learn from setbacks and turn them in to growth.
Thanks for reading & GO ROCKETS!