ISSA Street Soccer Training – NLP
‘How did he do that?’
When you see a kid doing an amazing street soccer trick, you probably wonder how they do it. Many people will also be wondering if they could ever achieve the same results. It could be said that this same curiosity together with a belief that excellence could be duplicated, a scientific approach and high levels of tenacity is what led to the field of NLP.
‘Let me have a go!’
In the 1970’s, Richard Bandler, a mathematician, and John Grinder, a linguistics professor, set out to see if they could discover exactly how some of the most effective therapists of the time were achieving consistent results. First they ‘modelled’ naturally, in the same way that we learn to walk and talk, by absorbing themselves completely in what the subject was doing without analysing and then having a go – mimicking both consciously and unconsciously – taking on elements of body language, speech patterns and intuitively thinking in similar ways, until they began to get similar results.
Then they began to analyse their findings so that they were able to construct a detailed model (‘Programme’) of the important elements of what the person was doing with their body, brain and nervous system (‘Neuro’) and the way they were thinking and communicating with themselves and with their clients, both verbally and non-verbally (‘Linguistic’). They knew they had found the ‘difference that made the difference’ because they were able to teach the model to other people and get similar results.
‘The replication of excellence.’
So began the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. The many models of excellence that Bandler and Grinder developed with their peers became ‘software for the brain’ that could be shared effectively from person to person. This led to the constantly evolving ‘trail of NLP techniques’ which, together with the attitudes and methodology that characterise the field, are used today all over the world and in all walks of life to enhance self-awareness, improve performance, accelerate learning and give people more freedom in the way they think, feel and behave.
Some of these NLP applications are very simple, like the NLP spelling strategy or the NLP fast phobia cure. Others, such as the application of the Meta Model for effective communication, are very complex. The appeal for many people is that NLP techniques are all grounded in practicality – they have to be because they have been reverse-engineered from what works and tested to make sure they work.
At the heart of Street Soccer is a recognition of the value of unconsciously learning skills in a fun environment, in the same way that NLP Modelling works by simply being in the moment and assimilating a skill on many different levels without letting thinking get in the way before analysis is appropriate.
The Street Soccer community certainly shares much of the NLP attitude and many of the useful beliefs of excellence that have become known as the Presuppositions of NLP and form an essential backdrop to practitioners in the field. You only have to look at the way kids are sharing their new street soccer skills with each other on the internet to see that they believe that excellence can be duplicated and that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. If you are a coach, it may also be worth checking out more NLP Presuppositions (it’s not important whether these assumptions are really true, just that if you act as if they are true you will notice differences) –
- People respond to their map of reality and not to reality itself.
- There is a positive intention behind all human behaviour.
- People have all the resources they need.
- People work perfectly, they are not broken. Everything they do is for a reason, even though the reason may seem inappropriate in some contexts.
- The meaning of your communication is the response you get.
- The individual in any group with the most flexibility will also have control in that
- Anything can be accomplished if the task is broken down into small enough pieces.
- We process all information through our senses.
- The mind and body are one system – it is not possible to make a change in one without the other being affected.
And there are many NLP tools to enhance coaching skill – techniques for effective communication, increased sensory acuity, establishing rapport, setting compelling goals, accessing motivation, understanding state management, dealing with blocks to learning and performance and helping students become more self-aware and responsible.
Perhaps the popularity of Street Soccer is telling us that there can be greater balance in the way football and sport in general is often taught, moving towards ways in which genius, creativity and intuitive brilliance can be nurtured alongside analytical learning. This fits perfectly with the intended direction of NLP and invites further exploration.