Strength in Numbers or Strength in Purpose?


During the glorious 1985 Pop Warner football season, my Danbury Trojan team went 12-0.  The 14 man New Fairfield Falcons were our chief rival.  We fielded twenty players and I recall our game plan being centered on wearing the Falcons down.  We beat New Fairfield twice including the prestigious Candlewood Valley Pop Warner title game.  Both games were close, but neither was decided by the number of players at each team’s disposal.  We were just better by a narrow margin.  They were tough, disciplined and every player had a purpose.

This is the model of our special forces which deploy tough, disciplined and well-trained small units all over the globe.  Every member of the unit has a purpose and value.  Interdependence and trust follow.  In reading almost any written account or biography of a special forces veteran, the sense of respect for fellow veterans is literally overwhelming.

This weekend, Bryson guest played for FC America’s shorthanded U-16 team for two FPL fixtures.  The team had twelve players Saturday afternoon in Viera and thirteen Sunday morning in Boca including Bryson and other guest players from the club’s B team.  In Viera, they rallied late from a goal down to salvage a draw and in Boca won 4-0.  The play was solid, if unspectacular, but what was notable was how each player in uniform had a purpose and was necessary to the result.  Over the two games each player made plays and mistakes, and had to play through.

I am always amused when a coach seems pleased with the numbers at an open gym, or try-out.  Inevitably, the numbers must be whittled down to a functional number.  A number where every player has a purpose.  The purpose equates with value and from value flows self-esteem and the ability to improve.

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