Dealing With Racism I #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 048

Welcome to the 48th installment of #AskASoccerPro! I hope everyone who was celebrating had a great Thanksgiving holiday and enjoyed some downtime with friends and family. Now that the holiday is over, we’re back to work in the MSL!

As I said last time, my team is committed to getting you all of your #AskASoccerPro content within 24 hours of the live show, so you have the tools you need to keep strengthening your mentality. 

Last night was a good one, thank you to everyone who participated over on Instagram! Your questions were on fire. If you weren’t able to make the live, here’s what we talked about: 

  •     Shooting Tips
  •     Defending Fast Breaks
  •     Choosing a Team 
  •     Long Term Success
  •     Dealing with Racism
  •     20/20 Vision in 2020
  •     Recovering from Injury
  •     Preparing for a Big Game
  •     Capturing Your Value
  •     Perfect Soccer Updates

We covered a lot of ground last night, so make sure to catch the replay if you missed the live. Don’t forget; I go live on Instagram every Thursday at 6 pm PST/ 9 pm EST to answer your questions!

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Dealing with Racism

A question I get asked a lot is, how do I deal with racism and racial abuse? I know some of you are wondering how to deal with this issue, especially if you're racially abused during a game. I know this can be a hard topic to talk about, so thank you for asking me this question during this week’s live, Sebastian.

Everyone deals with being targeted with racial epithets and phrases during the game
differently, I just laugh. I think it’s funny. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t find the words or language they use to be funny. What I think is hysterical is they actually believe they are going to have any effect on me with what they say.

The individuals saying these racial slurs think that they are going to hurt me and throw me off my game or make me feel ‘less than.’ They empower me, because I know they are scared of me. 

How I see it, if someone is hurling racial slurs or sexist slurs, or any other type of phobic language at you, what they are really telling you is, “I’m super scared of you and I don’t know anything other than to say this, because I see it can make you mad.”

Someone only really knows you if they know how to make you mad. So, if individuals are using that language, and it makes you mad, from their perspective, they believe they know who you are because they can get a reaction out of you. 

Remember, they’re using this word or words because they’re scared of what you are and what you represent. Once you have this figured out, you have them beat in the long run, because the only defense they have is to use this disgusting language to elicit an emotional response. 

Don’t give these individuals the outward response, any gesture they can use as proof to justify why they are calling you names and treating you the way they are. I don’t ever want to give someone that type of power over me. 

Creating Long Term Success

Setting yourself up for success five years from now, ten years from now, even 15 or 20 years from now, is really what the MSL mindset is all about. Creating the right mindset to go the distance is so critical. Here in the MSL, we don’t take shortcuts. We put in the work we know is necessary to reach our goals, and then doing the work to maintain our success.

What is the point of achieving success if we don’t know how we got there, or we don’t know how to stay successful once we’ve arrived? 

One of the reasons it's difficult for people to buy in on the MSL early on, is that we are over here selling the truth. Unfortunately, most people aren’t buying the truth because it means that they have to address all the things they’ve been doing wrong in order to become successful. 

Now, most people don’t want to hear that they’ve been doing it wrong. It’s easier to believe that the reason they can’t succeed and move forward is someone else’s fault, rather than take accountability themselves.

Mindset is a big difference between what many people are thinking and how we think here in the MSL. Here, we recognize that if a bad situation is even a tiny bit our fault, we have control and can make a change for the better.

If you can find even a sliver of responsibility for where you currently are, if it's somewhere you don’t want to be, then you have the opportunity to do the work and figure out how to overcome your circumstances or situation.

Most people aren’t able to accomplish their goals not because they are incapable, but because they are incapable of believing its possible. In the MSL, we’re working on helping individuals understand that accomplishing something meaningful takes time, effort, energy, and sacrifice. You’ve got to be willing to put in the time and work.

Capturing Your Value

We’ve talked about how to deal with racism and set yourself up for long term success, and really, what we’re talking about here is how to understand and capture your value. I believe that most people don’t know how to value themselves properly. They don’t know how to capture their value. 

If I were to ask you right now, ‘how do you value yourself?’, I’m sure that I would receive different answers from different people. Some people value themselves in dollars earned per hour, others by how much money they have in the bank, some consider the relationships they
have, while still others value themselves based on physical characteristics like weight or age, and some people value themselves on the amount of hours they have dedicated to developing their craft.

See? These are all subjective ways to assess our value. Now what is also subjective, is your ability to convince someone else to compensate you, with their time, money, or attention in exchange for whatever you believe you are providing to them
in value. 

Capturing our value is a multilayered process, and I’m looking to delve further into it with you over the next week!

Final Thoughts

Just like creating success won’t happen instantly; learning to capture your value takes time. Whether we are dealing with racism, working toward creating long term success, or learning to capture our value, the MSL community is a resource and support network where we can collaborate to find answers to the hard questions and share our experiences.

Thank you for joining me for another week of #AskASoccerPro. Make sure you stay tuned to our website and social pages this week for more resources on capturing your value!

See you soon!