If you mouse-over the tab for the page you are looking at right now, you’ll see the site name includes the tag line ‘Receive, juggle, pass’. To which you might say ‘Huh?’
Several years ago I hung a whistle around my neck and started stocking up on orange plastic cones and soccer balls. Me, a soccer coach! If you knew me before that time, you might be shaking your head, amazed. But, it’s true. My wife thought we should do soccer, and my then-six-year-old son was not likely to play unless I was the coach. So, a coach I became.
I started off with cute little U6 (five- and six-year-old) boys. I’d learn a bit about soccer and then show them. I found it was a lot of fun, and I stuck with it after that first season.
Years have passed, my kids have grown, and now I’m coaching a U14 team. I’ve learned a lot, about soccer and about coaching and sports in general. It’s been good for me. Plus, I’m accumulating lots of blog fodder.
This fall, during a coach training session, I learned a good warm-up drill where you have the kids pair up and you have one of them toss a ball to the other, who is supposed to receive, juggle (hopefully), and then pass the ball back. One throws the ball and the other receives it and either settles it to the ground and passes it back, or volleys it back, or (most difficult) juggles the ball (keeps the ball up in the air by kicking, using knees, or heading), and then passes it back. Receive, juggle, pass.
The juggle part is where it gets tricky. It takes a lot of skill to receive the ball and do something more than kick it right back.
I realized that the soccer drill was a good picture of interaction around ideas. Receive, juggle, pass, but with ideas instead of soccer balls. I want to receive the ideas of others, then juggle them around in my brain, and then toss them back. As with soccer balls, the juggle part is the challenge. It’s easier to just kick the ball right back, like you don’t need to work with it. But, we probably would all benefit from some mental juggling, some pondering and considering and mulling over.
So, I hope this blog can be a good forum for thinking things through together. Toss me your thoughts, let me juggle them around a bit, and pass them back. You do some juggling, and let me know what you come up with. Receive, juggle, pass.