An Open Letter From Eddie Loewen, CEO of Global Soccer Development
Eddie Loewen is a former German professional soccer player who is a UEFA A Licensed Coach and is dedicated to developing youth soccer players to reach their peak performance and realize their dreams. Very well connected and an expert on German soccer, Loewen’s company, Global Soccer Development, arranges trials for select players as well as organizes youth soccer training trips to Germany as well as other countries. In addition, Global Soccer Development holds highly elite annual youth soccer tournaments in Berlin, Duesseldorf and Munich, Germany.
“Adversity causes some men to break, and others to break records.”William Arthur Ward
This quote by William Arthur Ward is so true and it clearly applies in our current crisis of Covid19.
What separates the men and women who break and the ones who break records when exposed to adversity is their mindset!
How can we develop a mindset that will help us not only overcome these challenging times but also come out stronger and better at the end?
Firstly, we need to develop an attitude of gratitude! But how can we be thankful in times when we can’t go out and play soccer, spend time doing what we love, uninhibited and free?
How can we be thankful when we have to be locked in our four walls? I am 100% certain that we can find things to be thankful for … even if our regular schedule and habits have been completely altered. Give thanks for the little things; like having a roof over the head, being able to eat three meals a day, having a family and friends, having the health to work out (even if it is different and also in an unusual setting), or being able to work from home and therefore being able to spend more time with your family, and seeing the beauty in nature …
Make it a habit of writing down every day a few things that you are thankful for — It can change your attitude.
To be honest, it hasn’t been always easy to be thankful every day during this Coronavirus COVID19 pandemic.
I am a soccer player. I am a coach. I define myself through my passion for the game.
This unprecedented experience has impacted my work greatly and there are many days of uncertainty and concern. What really helps me is remembering to express gratitude for the little things that I cherish and can still enjoy in my life today. For example, when I walk my dogs.
Secondly, embrace discipline daily.
Discipline is being able to force yourself to do something, in spite of how you feel at that moment.
One thing that the game of soccer has taught me is to be disciplined regardless of my feelings.
There were many days in my life growing up in Germany were my feelings on a gloomy, dark and rainy winter day would tell me, “stay home, stay warm, hang out with your friends and watch some TV.” But instead, I would go out for additional runs to increase my fitness level.
I can look back and know there were many days in my soccer career where I felt like throwing in the towel because of being sidelined due to injuries or being rejected by the coach who didn’t think my style of soccer was his “cup of tea”.
I pressed on and worked hard, pursued my goals and kept being persistent because I was disciplined. When I look back, I recognize many chapters of my life that were characterized by adversity and challenges but the disciplines that I learned through sports helped me overcome obstacles.
Often it was hard and painful, but discipline helped me keep the rudder under control so that I could navigate through the storms of life.
Character determines your destiny.
Know what you stand for. Know your values, and your immutable laws. I challenge you to write them down and keep them on your mind so that they can guide your thoughts and actions.
- As coaches, we need to know what values guide our decisions and how they will impact the individuals of our teams.
- As players, we need to know our values so that we can choose and build relationships wisely.
Hanging with the wrong crowd that does not align with your values could derail your life-track. Sometimes it is the little decisions that can make a huge impact on our lives.
I once coached a very promising young player on our international Tour to Germany. I had seen the player play before in many League Games and was very impressed with him and invited him to be part of an international team that would travel to Germany to compete against several Bundesliga elite youth clubs.
At the time of the trip, the player was a Junior in High School and was a very promising College prospect. I arranged a trial for him with a German Bundesliga Club and the player did well but finally decided to accept a full scholarship to a D1 College in the USA.
One day, I received the very sad news that this promising, young player was sentenced to life in prison because he made choices to associate with the wrong crowd, which put him at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The consequence was that he wouldn’t play the beautiful game anymore, wouldn’t get the education that he deserved and, instead, would lose his freedom.
Therefore, it is so important to me that young players find their “Inner Compass” early and learn to stir through the course of life successfully. Our Global Soccer Development (GSD) lion has a compass embedded for a reason — to define our company’s values which are:
- and Service
It is important for players to learn the importance of defining their own values and establish their individual immutable laws so that they can make good decisions that will build their character.
- Watch your thoughts, they become words.
- Watch your words, they become actions.
- Watch your actions they become your habits.
- Watch your habits, they become your character.
- Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
This crisis will not last forever. The soccer leagues that canceled games because of the Coronavirus COVID-19 will restart.
I am sure that we, as a soccer community, will come out of this stronger and more united than before.
Let’s control our minds, as otherwise, our minds will control us. Let’s use this time wisely to plan our future. During this pandemic, let’s develop strong and positive mindsets by exercising an attitude of gratitude, discipline and building our character by knowing what we stand for and emerge from this stronger than ever before.
Many blessings to All!