Herdman speaks on being good, finding passion and vision at RDC scholarship breakfast

John Herdman remembers arriving to see a broken and fractured team.

The Canadian women’s national soccer team coach who took over the job in 2011 and led the group to bronze medals in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics knows about building people up. He was the keynote speaker at RDC’s 14th annual Kings and Queens Scholarship Breakfast on Tuesday.

His message to those in attendance and even all the way back to when he first met Team Canada was surprisingly simple — it was all about finding a vision, pursuing a passion and being good.

“Keep being good. Be good on and off the pitch, at work and at home and the universe will bring you the things that it should bring. I can attest to it, I’ve lived it,” Herdman said in a quick summary of his talk.

Herdman explained in detail about the team he took over six years ago, and how they went from a disastrous last place World Cup finish, to bronze at the London Olympics. Herdman said he challenged the group to be good and instead of trying to be a perfectionist or great some of the time, be good all of the time.

“Being good on a regular basis on and off the field. The complexity that sits under that is just on the character side of life – being able to do the little things the right way,” he said.

“Not trying to push for excellence everyday, just keeping that consistency of being good. Knowing that will transfer onto the field. I think for the student athletes, so many of them beat themselves up on trying to be perfectionists in everything they do.”

The two-time Olympic bronze medal coach also noted that the lexicon of failure has been almost eliminated from our daily lives and has essentially let us live in a safe space without challenges.

He said in both medal wins for his squad, nine months earlier they had suffered major disappointment. The sting of a last place finish at the World Cup in 2011 led to an unexpected Olympic bronze in 2012, then a sixth place finish in 2015, followed by another Olympic bronze in Brazil taught his team a great deal.

“Unless you’re going to fail at something, you’re never really going to learn from it,” Herdman said. “Adversity is a massive part of our learnings in life and I just feel we put ourselves in situations where we don’t expose ourselves to those learnings.”

From Newcastle, England, to New Zealand and now to Vancouver, the coach explained while he has faced plenty of adversity in life, he discovered along they way reclaiming your passion can make massive change. He opened his talk by challenging the audience to examine the memories that made them proud.

“You’ve got be clear on where you want to get to. I think a lot of people lose sight of that,” he added.

“That end goal also has to have meaning as well. It’s got to be really worthwhile. If the goals don’t light that fire, then the passion never appears and the passion doesn’t drive a discipline which means you push to those levels where you accomplish things that will be remembered.”


Just Posted

Red Deer photographer captures rare spirit bears

As part of a Canada 150 project he toured some parts of Canada

Updated: Man shot dead by police near Alix, ASIRT investigating

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is investigating after a man… Continue reading

Flu clinic opens on Monday at Westerner Park

Free vaccine to all Albertans six months of age and older

Number of changes to Central Alberta constituencies recommended

Several Central Alberta ridings will have a new look if the Alberta… Continue reading

#MeToo campaign spreads to Red Deer

CASASC continues iRespect.info campaign

Business of the Year Awards celebrate local achievement

Olymel, The Bra Lounge, 360 Fitness and Postma Electrical Services Ltd. are the winners this year

Sockey Night at Saturday’s Rebels game

United Way Central Alberta is determined to provide warm feet for all… Continue reading

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Owner of medical marijuana dispensaries challenges constitutionality of law

The law under which the owner of two medical marijuana dispensaries was… Continue reading

Victim in fatal ammonia leak remembered for his passion and smile

Friends and colleagues remember Lloyd Smith as someone who was always willing to help people

Watch: Gravel truck turns into wrong off-ramp at Highway 2 Ponoka

The new Highway 2 and Highway 53 intersection at Ponoka caused some confusion for one driver

Updated: Central Alberta Election Results

Unofficial results from Monday’s municipal elections in Central Alberta. Not all results… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month