Fundamentals Matter

By Scott Signore

The soccer players on Team Australia are a smart, savvy and passionate bunch. They are committed to the sport of soccer and to improving their game. They are full of energy and have a seemingly endless desire to be better. Also, they are also six and seven year old girls. I am their coach.

Our spring soccer season starts tonight – with a brief practice in advance of Saturday’s opening game against Italy. On the global stage, this would be headliner. Two of the top women’s teams in the world going head to head on an international pitch. At the local level, however, this is a fairly regular happening with active and enthusiastic kids and parents.

A group of Swedish researchers recently determined that the world’s best soccer players show enhanced thinking abilities, and typically perform better in cognitive situations. The researchers determined that such performance is directly tied to some players being better at the game than others. While I’d like to apply these research results to tonight’s practice, we’re still focused on the fundamentals. Passing when we have the ball and taking the ball from the other team are our priorities this spring. We’re going to spend a lot of time on sharing the ball, a lot, and I’m looking forward to all it.

Having sound fundamentals are important – on the pitch and here in the office. Public relations account teams are like any other successful small organization, where having a solid base to build upon is hugely important. I’m proud of our foundation here at Matter – a group of hard-working professionals who share a willingness to learn the business from some of our more experienced team members. Like coaches on the soccer pitch, our experienced group teaches and encourages for the benefit of staff, our clients and our agency. Few organizations I’m familiar with tutor and mentor like we do, and that’s significant.

Just yesterday I watched a senior manager take her mentee for coffee and an afternoon chat as part of our ongoing mentoring program. Earlier in the day, Tim Bradley, our in-house and outstanding video producer, led an information and educational session about the many ways video can positively impact our client programs. Teaching, sharing, informing – all of it is a priority and has been key to our success.

We’ll work on passing tonight and all season long, and with any luck Team Australia’s foundation for success will be nearly as good as the one here at Matter.