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Our local Lasso puts the “be” in believe.
“Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse, isn’t it? If you’re comfortable while you’re doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong.” So goes one of eponymous lead character Ted Lasso’s beloved pearls of wisdom from the hit show Ted Lasso and one of Leesville Road High School JV men’s and women’s soccer coach/math teacher Michael Tetreault’s favorite Lasso-isms. A huge fan of the hit Apple TV show and a seasoned coach of 20-plus years (!), “Coach T”—as he’s called by his kids—kicked it with us to chat soccer, strategy and his thoughts on the series ahead of its season 3 release
March 15. (Fun fact: He’s even baked those boss shortbread biscuits!) Here, our very own “local Lasso” soccer sensei schools us on his goal of seeing his students/players succeed both in the classroom and on the soccer pitch.
What got you in the coaching game? The teaching part of it. I played soccer in college and high school, and I really loved being part of the game, the competition and the idea of sharing what I’ve learned with other generations. … And it’s just a lot of fun.
Kick us back to a few of your favorite experiences being coached. I had a really good coach in high school. It felt like he knew how to talk to us—we could understand what he wanted us to do, but we also knew he believed we could do it. And I had another coach that didn’t allow us to consider the possibility that we couldn’t do something. He would give us a bunch of different ways to succeed, be positive and contribute.
School us on your strategies on and off the pitch. One of the things I’ve been hitting on lately is from the Navy SEALs. The mantra goes: ‘The only easy day was yesterday.’ I encourage embracing the challenge and reminding my players their results don’t define them—it’s the process that defines them.
How has Ted Lasso impacted the way you coach your kids? One of Ted Lasso’s ideas that’s so important is belief. You have to believe in what you’re doing, in your teammates, in people around you, in your goal… and in yourself. Ted Lasso didn’t know soccer at all when he started, but he knew how to build teams—and that’s what he leaned on.
Any favorite Lasso-isms from the show? ‘You know what the happiest animal in the world is? It’s a goldfish. It’s got a 10-second memory.’ … And my favorite guy, Roy Kent, shared this gem: ‘Don’t you dare settle for fine.’
Any pearls of wisdom of your own? I like to pull different things—whether it’s from sports movies or the Yoda poster hanging in my classroom—whatever the kids might connect with. One that my kids have been saying recently is Yoda’s quote from Star Wars: ‘Do or do not. There is no try.’ I always like to have something in my pocket that might work when I need it so I’m able to best meet the students where they’re at.
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