Everything I Need to Know, I Learned Through Sports

February 27, 2021

Dear Friends,

I always loved the book, All I Really Need to Know, I learned in Kindergarten. Written in 1986 by Robert Fulghum, its core tenants still resonate today. But, the old coach in me –who is constantly trying to help young coaches and parents see the value of sport on character development and social emotional learning — would love to see a sequel titled “Everything I Need to Know, I Learned Through Sports.” But so you don’t have to wait for it to be published, the following is what it would include:

  1. Be Generous– Don’t hog the ball, and be sure to celebrate the assist as much as you do the goal.
  2. Be Consistent– Instead of focusing on winning, focus on process and doing the little things (trust that winning will be a likely byproduct if you do so).
  3. Be Honest– Remember that the lines are not a suggestion (for more on this – here’s a link to a prior piece on the topic)
  4. Be Kind -Run to help your teammates up if they get knocked down – and know that it’s more than OK to help your opponent up as well!
  5. Be Determined – Don’t try hard because someone is making you…try hard because you can. Effort is always a choice.
  6. Be Brave – Don’t be afraid to take risks. Dive for loose balls. Take a charge. Block for your teammates. Call timeouts. Try new positions. Try new sports.
  7. Be Calm – Don’t scream at people. Most times yelling is scary and doesn’t really accomplish much. And breathe! Breathing is never a bad thing!!
  8. Be Grateful– Thank your coaches. Thank your teammates. Thank your parents. And Thank the referees. Gratitude is a gift to others – and to you.
  9. Be Humble -If you score a goal or touchdown don’t ever celebrate like it’s the first time you’ve ever done that.?
  10. Be Joyful -Above all else remember that sports (life) should be fun! Play with Joy!

So – whether you’re a new coach just starting out, or a veteran looking for a reminder of things to focus on this season – go ahead and take any/all of the above and apply it to your daily living. We are often a society who focuses on “giving up things” Don’t give up things – Do things! Be Better! Let’s face it – don’t you think the world would be a much better place if we were all a little more generous, consistent, honest, kind, determined, brave, calm, grateful, humble and joyful.

I hope that some of these resonated with you. I always love to hear from folks who read these pieces so if there’s one in particular that stood out or you want to let me know you will be focusing on this season, please do!

Steve Boyle (@steveboyle241 – twitter)


About Steve Boyle

Steve is the Executive Director of 2-4-1 CARE, Inc and Co-Founder/Director of 2-4-1 Sports -- a signature program of 2-4-1 CARE-- whose flagship program is held at the Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford, Conn. but now has locations throughout the United States and Canada. 2-4-1 was recognized by the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC as one of eight model programs in the United States for its approach to anti-specialization in youth sports. This led Steve to form the National Association of Physical Literacy – of which he is now Advisory Board Chair. Steve is also a founding member of the Quality Coaching Collective – an international group of activators around sport, movement and mindfulness. Lastly, through his role at CCG, Steve was the two-year Global Lead on Physical Literacy and Athletics for Whittle School & Studios (2018-20), which currently has campuses in Shenzhen, China and Washington, DC.


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