"Don't be afraid to have dreams. Because four years ago, I was as far away from this as you can imagine and look what's happened! If you work hard enough...if you're not afraid to dream...and if you're not afraid to fail. Everybody fails. I've had more failures than I've had success. But I'm not afraid to fail." (Chris Coleman, 2016)
Whether you a sports fan or not, the Welsh football team demonstrated the importance of grounded values and the attitudes they produce. It was heartening to listen to ‘world-class superstar’ Gareth Bale talking with a complete lack of ego. In every interview, he emphasised that he was just one player in a team and that it was a team performance. Every time he also ensured that he acknowledged the commitment of the supporters and its effect on the team. These attitudes were echoed repeatedly by other individuals, players and coaching staff. There was a lot of talk about ‘we’ and ‘us’ as opposed to ‘I’ and ‘me’.
Whatever the result, the team gathered together in a circle at the end of the game and listened to a team-talk by their leader, Ashley Williams. Then, win or lose, they applauded and thanked their supporters, who responded in kind.
Chris Coleman’s statement about daring to dream and being unafraid to fail is a mindset we continually encourage as part of effective learning. It is wonderful to encourage this kind of thinking but we must also actively provide the environment for it to actually happen, otherwise it is like buying your team the best kit but never giving them a pitch to play on.