I am a huge fan of the show Ted Lasso on Apple TV. It’s the only reason I subscribe to yet another TV app. Each episode puts a huge smile on my face at some point, if I haven’t already been smiling my way through the entire show. For me, the writers have crafted a plot line that tells a charming story via a cast of characters that embody many of the best human traits: honesty, respect, trust, kindness, acceptance, optimism, and compassion for one another.
For those that are unfamiliar with the show, it is set in England, and Jason Sudakis plays Richmond football (soccer) coach, Ted Lasso. Lasso is a passionate coach that defines winning as wholeheartedly believing in yourself and your team while playing your best. In fact, he tapes the word “Believe” written in large letters to the wall of the locker room in the first episode. It is through Lasso’s confidence in the power of belief that connects and bonds the team more deeply as the show progresses.
Though the show is fictional, it is Lasso’s optimistic coaching style and belief in his team that always makes me reflect on the coaching role we all have as real-life educators. The role that asks each of us to lead by example and to model the very traits shown in the shows’ characters. The role in which we identify our students’ strengths and maximize their opportunities to grow, to learn, and to achieve success. The role where we dismiss doubts in students’ abilities and trade them for the high expectations for each and every student.
We, as coaches and educators, are in control of creating an environment in which all students, like Lasso’s players, are set up for success, and where a student’s background, ethnicity, disability, gender, or race does not cloud our vision of what they can achieve. An environment where we refrain from making assumptions and instead, remain optimistic and presume competence in the face of the challenges and believe in our students’ abilities to learn how to read and write, to work with and manipulate numbers, to engage in meaningful communication, and to achieve great things!
When we believe in ourselves as coaches and educators and in our students no matter what, there’s no telling what accomplishments we may witness!