Down to 10 men. Playing it simple and rigid. Unimaginative & effective. Soft penalty and play off rivals take the lead.
Learning. The exchange of knowns and unknows. Ideas, movements and postures passed on with intention and unintentionally.
The learning, that takes place at a football club, always happens in both directions. The dynamics of ‘teacher & learner’ suggests a single transfer of knowledge from the ‘teacher’ to the ‘learner’. I do not feel that this truly encompasses the relationship that is developed between individuals and institutions when learning occurs. Some suggest that the most enriching learning experiences are when both ends of the relationship appreciate that they are both set to gain something.
Stamp? Elbow? (who can tell from our view on the Bog End?) A foul. Red Card. Words shared between benches. Strong words, that get a reaction. Stewards put to the test. A flimsy Hi Vis wall trying very hard to keep braying dugouts at bay.
At a football club learning occurs in the expected places, on the training ground between players and coaches. In the changing room, between senior players and the younger ones. There are other places that learning occurs, less expected ones, or at least less recognised ones. On the pitch and in the stadium, the players are learning in the moment. From each other, as well as from the opponents on the day, in the moment. However there is another important relationship, another important exchange that plays out on match day, from stand down to the pitch and from the pitch up into the stand.
What learning occurs across these lines? Something intangible? Atmospheric? Sometimes clear and defined? Learning occurs none the less.
Taking responsibility for being a part of this exchange of ideas, postures, movements, language is key. Firstly done by recognising the part you play and the value you are likely to receive. Turning to the empathetic part of yourself, the caring and generous side of your nature, the joyful part and letting that version of who you are to lead, will only enhance the experience. Be you a fan, a player, a coach or a combination of the above, take time to try and figure out what it is your learning while the match plays out, and focus on what others will be learning from you in that some moment.