You can tell a lot about a company simply by reading its mission statement. The process of cutting to the very core of an organization and describing its essence is an extremely difficult task, ask any CEO who’s had the challenge of composing one. In many ways, a mission statement is analogous to what a psycholinguist – someone trained in understanding how infants acquire language – would call the “deep structure” of a sentence. The “deep structure” of an organization, whether it’s a company, a non-profit group or soccer club, is found in its mission statement.
“Because of the tremendous responsibility we feel for our athletes and their families, we spent a great deal of time and thought on the creation of the Sting mission,” said Brent Coralli, CEO of Sting Soccer. “It’s what we believe and what guides our day-to-day, year-to-year actions.”
More on the Sting Mission will follow, but it might be interesting to take a look at another successful sports oriented organization – Nike.
Just Do It!
Nike’s graphic symbol – the “Swoosh” – is recognized throughout the world. Its battle cry – Just Do It! – influences high-achieving business leaders as well as world class athletes. This symbol and marketing theme have been brilliantly incorporated in the company’s brand and this is reflected in the company’s mission statement.
“The NIKE brand – what it stands for – is far more important than its products,” noted Coralli. “And its mission statement and ‘maxims’ reflect this.”
The Nike Mission is succinct:
To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.
*If you have a body, you are an athlete.
The company’s 11 “Maxims or guiding principles for the employees of the company are more expansive:
It is our nature to innovate.
The Sting Mission
As with Nike, there is little doubt where Brent Coralli, his coaches and staff at Sting Soccer place their emphasis. It’s reflected in the organization’s mission statement.
To support through our coaches, administration and player policies the idea of The Education of Life Through Soccer. Teaching the importance of having a strong moral foundation and building strong, young females in a way that is conducive to player development and advancement. The pillars of this foundation are rooted in the following key areas of development.
To provide all players the opportunity to meet their fullest potential. Teaching teamwork, sportsmanship, technique, skills, athleticism, and tactics in a way that is specific to every player’s development needs.
To provide exceptional young players with the professionalism, coaching and structure to compete at local, state, national and international levels in order to gain exposure to maximize opportunities beyond the club competition level.
“The concept of ‘Education Through Soccer’ is something that has proven to be extremely important to our staff, the young women who play for our club and their parents,” said Brent. “Life after soccer means getting a good education and a fulfilling profession. Colleges and employers seek former athletes because they possess the skills companies want – teamwork, analytical thinking, competitiveness and drive.”
Taking a Lot of Pride
The first pillar of the Sting Mission – Pride – is a simple word but a complicated concept to grasp. Watching these young athletes on that video (above) practicing on a cold, winter night suggests the power of pride to drive results.
“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”
“We work hard to instill pride in the young women who play for our club,” said Brent. “We want them to know that it’s okay to rely on a man, but that they don’t have to. We want them to hold their heads up high and be proud of what they have done. If they fail, that’s okay too, because they have shown pride in their actions.”
There’s a lot of literary distance between Jane Austen and Paul “Bear” Bryant, the late football coach of Alabama. However, one must believe coach Bryant agreed with Ms. Austen on the concept of pride. He famously said:
“Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.”
“A young woman with pride in herself and her team will always be successful,” said Brent. “The scoreboard won’t always reflect this, but she’s successful none the less.”
Next time we’ll take a look at two more Sting pillars – tradition and character. In the meantime, tell us what you think about our mission. Post your comments below and we’ll share with our other readers.