Right vs. Easy: Growing a Long Term Winner’s Mindset I #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 051

Welcome back to the #AskASoccerPro Show! It’s a New Year and we’re ready to take things to the next level with a new show format and guests joining us here on the live! In first half of episode 51 I broke down:

  • Right vs. Easy
  • The International Game
  • Long Term Winner’s Mindset

I also had the chance to interview Olympic gold medalist, Sanya Richards-Ross, during the second half of this weeks show.

*The FULL written interview is now released in a separate article here! 

You can watch the full video replay below and read my overall take aways and thoughts before I hosted Sanya for the "Mental Breakdown" portion of the show.

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!

Right vs. Easy

I was thinking a lot this week about what it means to do what is right, vs. what is easy.  For the most part, I think we know what the right thing to do is, with the exception of a few situations and select individuals who honestly might not know.

Most people will say, “I don’t know what the right thing to do is!” Chances are, you know what the right thing to do is. The problem is, it's very hard to do the right thing because there usually isn’t anyone holding you accountable. That’s why doing the right thing is usually pretty difficult.

You want to do what’s right. Not what’s easy.



So, how does this concept of right vs. easy apply on the soccer field?

If you know me, you know I’m all about winning. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to win. Now, being the person who is the victor, the hero, the one who is taking all the glory and accolades is not always the best way to go about winning in the long term. 

If the way you’re going about winning is to the detriment of everyone around you, if the only way you can build the tallest building is by knocking down everyone else’s, or the only way you can get to the top of the mountain is by stepping on the heads of everyone around you; you might get to the top, but you’re going to be really lonely there.

You’re not going to be able to share your glory with anyone, and you’re going to have to ask yourself, “was it all worth it?”

Chances are, it wasn’t.

Stop Bs’ing Yourself!

Along your journey and along your path in life or soccer, you’re going to hit many moments in time when you’re going to be able to take a shortcut. The coach isn’t looking at you, your parents aren’t looking at you, everyone is focused on something or someone else.

So you think, you don’t have to do the right thing or put in the work, it doesn’t really matter this time. But, what I would say to you, "if it doesn’t really matter this time, then why not just do it?" We don’t make excuses here in the MSL, we’re out here developing a winner’s mindset.

Your job is to figure out how to catch it when you are bs’ing yourself. Guess who is the best person at bs’ing you? YOU.

Eventually, you’re going to get sick of the BS. The problem is, if you get really good at bs’ing yourself, you won’t get sick of it for a long time. If it’s a while before you get sick of your own BS, then you might run out of the only thing that is most valuable to you… your time.

The Analogy of the Forward

For me, doing what’s right vs. what’s easy on the field involves developing a different perspective on how to be a forward. The forward is supposed to be the stereotypical selfish person on the team who has to have glory and score all the goals. It’s all about them and I understand that to a degree. To a certain extent, you need to be full of yourself and have confidence.

What I don’t believe is that there is only one way in which you can approach playing the position of forward. For me, I can see my teammates and know when there are people on my team who are better at finishing than I am.

So, I have to ask myself, is it more important that I score the goal, or, is it more important that I create the best opportunity for the best goal scorer to score a goal?

Depending on what the outcome is, and what you personally want will determine your answer to that question. Most people want the glory and they want it to be them scoring the goal. For me, I think, “if I want to win and I think I have a greater opportunity of winning the game by setting my teammate up for success to score a goal, then that’s what I’m going to spend my time, energy, and effort on. Because if the goal is to win, then setting my teammates up for success is the right thing to do.

Remember though, just because you do the right thing and set the person next to you up for success doesn’t mean that they will do the same for you; in fact it’s usually not the case. I’m also not going to tell you that my way is the best or only way to play the game.

As the game currently stands, players are rewarded for being selfish. But, hey, that’s what we’re here to hopefully change, or at least get people to open up to the idea that there are different ways to play the game. It’s not always the person with the ‘best’ stats who is the greatest contributor to the overall success of the organization.

The International Game

In the game of soccer, there are 11 players on both sides of the field and no one person is greater than the team. I think that seeing the game at the international level is a great example of the fact that no single player is great enough to win it all.

I think that international competition is more similar to MLS than any other league in the world. Players with diverse philosophies and ideologies on the game are competing against one another at the highest level. Mix those diverse perspectives in with vastly different styles of play, and you get something very special. The players coming together to represent their countries may share a nationality, but they also have to come together and bond over some centralized greater good to be successful.

Usually, the team with the greatest superstars or the biggest names either don’t make it into the World Cup, or they don’t make it very far. International competition is the great equalizer in my opinion because the teams who win are the ones who choose to do what is right not what is easy.

Most people don’t understand the difference between the two and how doing what is right translates into long term success. When you do what is right, you’re not seeing the results of the efforts you’re putting in immediately.

Long Term Winner’s Mindset

When I’m talking about not seeing the results of your efforts immediately, think of it this way: if you eat a salad today, work out, and get a good night’s sleep, will you see massive effects tomorrow? No, you’re going to have to do those things consistently over time to see the kind of results you’re after.

Staying consistent and doing the right things over and over isn’t easy, it’s incredibly hard!

This is similar to the 10 push-up challenge I set during our last episode. It seems small to do 10 push-ups a day for 6 months but staying consistent makes this difficult. Let’s see how many days you will make it until you fall off the wagon.

“I forgot.”

“I had to sleep in.”

“Something happened.”

There is always going to be an easy excuse, but if you’re able to master consistency, you’re on your way to creating a long-term winner’s mindset. It’s all about creating good habits for yourself and building up your mental strength over time.

Final Thoughts

Thank you for joining us this week for the #AskASoccerPro Show. The participation of this community was incredible and I know I learned a lot from both your questions and speaking with Sanya.

Keep your eyes open for my full interview of Sanya Richards-Ross which will be published right here on the Perfect Soccer blog! If you’re ready to sit down and watch the interview now, make sure you click on that video above. Sanya was dropping some real truth bombs on the Perfect Soccer community.

Looking forward to seeing you on Instagram for our next #AskASoccerPro Show live next week! 

Until then,