We took the boys to see the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team play Korea.  We got our tickets early and had great seats at midfield about 4 rows back.  Playing at the University of Richmond stadium meant that any seat was close enough to hear the chatter, almost feel the ball contact and see the action close up.  The boys were pretty enthused to see the team after they realized these were the same players they saw a few months ago on TV playing in the Olympics.

One of the things that I find amazing about professional soccer players, and of course these were among the best in the world, is their composure.  Their confidence.  They are able to skillfully manuever the ball and remain calm with defenders only a few feet away from them.  That ability is what makes them professionals, what makes them great at what they do.

Take Shannon Boxx.  She controls the midfield.  She seems to always be in control of the team on the field.  She is able to stand with the ball at her feet, look around for the best option, the best recipient of her pass, all the while being challenged by the opposing team swarming around her, the chaos.  Through her confidence in her abilities, she is able to do more for her team.

I tried to think to something where I have been able to show similar confidence.  I have played sports nearly all my life but can’t say that I have ever been good enough to display that level of confidence.  More about that on the next DaddyCast when I dig into this topic.

But I did think about my A+ Certification.  Several years ago I trained for the A+ Certification and accomplished becoming certified for computer repair.  I admit that through the training I did learn many things- primarily about older technology and a wide array of peripherals and problems.  But all in all, the main thing I gained was confidence.  Confidence in what I was doing but more importantly, confidence that if something went wrong, I could handle it.  It gave me a freedom to do and try various things with confidence that I could recover if something went awry.

I think Boxx and the Women’s National Team have that same confidence.  They know that they have the skills and that their teammates have the abilities to try to go beyond the safety zone.  To try to push the limits.  If something goes wrong, they can recover.  They have trained for situations, they have experience by playing game after game, they have seen many situations, scenarios, opportunities.  They can recover.

This line of thinking also made me think of Tae Kwon Do.  This past weekend our school held their annual tournament.  In talking to one of my friends whose son was participating in the sparring competition, he stated he urged his son to compete so his son could gain some experience. I took this to heart- especially since this friend taught Martial Arts previously himself.

Also, in the weeks approaching the tournament, we did a lot of sparring in class and I realized that by doing it more and more I began to recognize opportunities for counter attacks and blocking that I should use the next time.  In other words, I gained some experience.  And, experience will seed confidence.

So, how does all of this apply to parenting?  Well, I think as we learn more, as we share experiences, read books, read blog posts, listen to podcasts- it all adds to our experience.  Experience doesn’t always have to come from personal experience, you can learn from other’s experiences.  And, knowing more, knowing what to do in a wider array of situations, scenarios, with a variety of problems- that knowing will add to your confidence.  And with confidence, even among the chaos of being challenged by the opposition (not that the kids are on the other team, but the opposition may be stress or challenges on your time, etc.) you can make good decisions, keep your head clear and looking for the best option.  And if things go wrong, you can recover.

So gaining experience, anyway, anyhow, is important if for no other reason than in builds confidence.  And with confidence you can face challenges with more composure, you can be calm among the chaos, you can control the midfield.  And, if things go wrong, you can have a better change of recovering.  And with the confidence in your ability to recover, you can push the limits, try new things, live more fully.

More on this on the next show.  Also, I’ll take this topic in a different direction, how to build confidence in kids.  As always, if you have comments please let me know- DaddyCast@gmail.com or (804) SOS-LATE.