The 4 C’s: Tried & True


About a month ago I returned home to Indiana to visit my parents. My dad and step mom are both semi-retired and now living their lives as snow birds – splitting their time between Indianapolis and Florida.

Besides spending quality time together and them questioning my decision on my most recent shade of hair color, their one request of me was to go through the last handful of boxes from my childhood, mainly my soccer career.

Due to their new lifestyle they are downsizing from my childhood home and therefore are getting rid of all unneeded excess in the home.

This was the first time I had sifted through any of my soccer career memorabilia since retiring. Even though my constant moving and travel schedule while playing forced me to occasionally go through most of the collection that I had gathered throughout the years, a few boxes remained.

As I was rummaging through everything I stumbled across an old article called ‘The 4 C’s’: communication, concentration, courage, and control. The 4 C’s brought back some wonderful, nostalgic memories. Starting in middle school, I would write “4 C’s” on my hand as a reminder before each game. This was one of my many rituals. Others ranged from listening to the Footloose soundtrack on repeat to me using a half can of hairspray to get my hair perfect prior to each game. Okay, the latter may fall into more of an OCD category rather than a ritual, but you get the point.


My dad was the culprit for many of these rituals. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, he was a total Dance Mom Soccer Dad, constantly reminding me that preparation is key and to respect the game. He demanded a lot of me but it is these qualities such as hard work and attention to detail that I carry with me today. My dad was the one that gave me this article and introduced me to the 4 C’s.

Communication: Precise and effective communication is key to success on the field. Not only was it important for me to have clear communication with my teammates, it was also critical to establish a positive inner dialogue with myself.

Concentration: Focus on the task at hand. Remaining present while playing benefits everyone involved. I’d show up each game ready to participate and maintain focus. This increased my ability to make split decisions in critical moments.

Courage: Be confident in your abilities you bring to the team and to the game. Take risks and don’t let fear drive your decisions.


Control: What do you have control over and don’t? As a soccer player I understood that I had control over the ball. “If you control the ball you control the score”. We can’t always control our environment but we can control our reaction to our environment. Keeping a cool head and not letting our emotions get the best of us transforms average athletes into world class athletes.

When I first came across the 4 C’s the context was within the game of soccer.

However, when I was reminded of them again it got me thinking how they are easily transferable across all aspects of life even in my new role as a performance coach.

It is imperative that I directly communicate with my athletes/clients when giving cues for a specific exercise, have the concentration and courage to lead in a mentoring role, and control the environment in a way that optimizes my athletes/clients experience.

How can you apply the 4 C’s to your life? Whether you’re an athlete on a new team, a captain or leader, or someone who is stepping into the gym for the first time the 4 C’s can be applied for success.

Reply in the comment section below and let me know how you’re implementing them.


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