At Edyssey we have many courses about the beautiful game which combine the English language and life skills.In this following blog we explain why football is such a focus.
Football is one of the few sports that unites us on a global scale. Although the game goes by different names worldwide, a single constant remains. When you step onto the pitch, life lessons are waiting to be learned.
We all support athletics and sporting activities as a way for children to see the lessons of daily life. We hope that they can apply what they learn to become happy and healthy adults.
What about the adults in the room? Can football be a learning lesson for a passionate fan, a retired footballer, or someone who never played the game before?
The answer is definitive. When football is part of your life, it offers several lessons that help us become the best versions of ourselves.
What Are the Lessons to Learn from Football?
Football is more than a game. It is even more than a way of life for many. This sport transcends space and time to bring strangers together who work toward common goals. Instead of worrying about how we are different, the game helps us to celebrate what unites us.
When 11 players form a team, you may have a single superstar in the mix. That one individual can do incredible things with the ball, score goals, and move around the field. Still, none of it happens without the support of the ten additional players.
In football as in life, you are only as good as the people with who you surround yourself.
That’s just one lesson the beautiful game teaches us. Here are a few more.
1. Practicing makes you better.
Football might have perfect moments, but the focus is not on individual perfection. The goal for each player is to get a little better with each practice session. When hard work is part of the process, every effort gets rewarded somehow.
Playing football teaches players to focus on the elements of the game under their direct control. If you’re in the #9 role and the other team keeps scoring, you can’t change the game by becoming a second goalkeeper. As a striker, you could drop back further to do more defending. Always try to focus on what your efforts can be instead of the perceived outcomes from others.
3. Learn from your mistakes.
In the entire history of professional football, only 28 players have over 500 goals credited to them. When you examine this elite group, a single individual has a known goal-to-match ratio above 1.00 – Josef Bican, who started playing in 1928. Even the best strikers in history can play without scoring. Mistakes get made. What this game teaches is that these moments are learning opportunities instead of failures. If you didn’t put the ball on frame, lean over it and try again with the next shot. Keep going until you get it right.
4. Positivity and resilience moves you closer to your goal.
When coaches provide positive feedback to athletes, the information fills their emotional and creative “tanks” to encourage progress. This approach creates a trickle-down effect that impacts everyone around the player: family, friends, teammates – even strangers. We must take this approach with ourselves if we want to move forward in life. Self-criticism and doubt are our own worst enemies.
5. Celebrate every triumphant moment.
Football teaches us to enjoy every small success that happens on the pitch. Although the overall mission is to score goals and win games, you can’t reach that outcome without ball control, effective runs, or the anticipation to intercept a pass. Each small moment is like climbing up a set of stairs, one step at a time. When you put enough of them together, everyone eventually reaches the top.
6. Continue the learning process.
No one is a complete football expert. There might be people in this game who have 40, 50, or even 60 years of experience, but they are continuously learning something new. This sport keeps evolving as new ideas come to it. Best practices are always changing, which means the people who refuse to change are the ones who eventually get left behind.
7. The best successes come from a team environment.
What does it mean to be a team player? You must contribute 100% to support your teammates every time you step onto the pitch. That means practices, games, and individual workouts must always be given your everything. It also requires trust because the others around you must do the same. When you work hard to bring out the best in yourself, it does the same for others.
Everyone loses when playing football. Although that feeling is never pleasant, the respect we have for ourselves and others on the pitch still creates a moment of celebration. Let someone enjoy their victory because they earned it and then get back to practice to experience the same feeling one day.