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TAKE 5 with US Youth Soccer’s Mike Zile


Mike ZileFrom lifelong friendships to powerful life lessons to everlasting memories of thrilling victories, there are many reasons for your kids to play sports.

As a parent, you can encourage your kids to participate in, or at least try, youth sports. With so many other factors and activities pulling them in different directions, it’s important to properly frame and discuss the many rewards of playing sports.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ sat down with US Youth Soccer Coach Mike Zile to get his thoughts on the importance of playing sports along with the life lessons he learned.

In our exclusive TAKE 5 interview, Mike, who coaches 2014 Region II Presidents Cup Champion Under-16 Boys Mid Rivers SC - Tigers (MO), told us that he believes the biggest life lesson taught by sports is to focus on what you can control.

“The biggest life lesson that I believe I learned through sports is to control what you can control and forget about what you cannot,” said Mike. “This lesson applies to so many other aspects of life.”

Mike added that sports also teach kids to live and perform on an even keel in order to achieve the best possible results.

“Another key life lesson that sports can teach, if fostered appropriately, is to never get too high or too low from the outcome of a match,” said Mike. “Thirty minutes after a big win or devastating loss, kids will be on to something else…and that is how it should be.”

Mike said that he has discussions with his youth athletes about “controlling what we can control,” and told us a bit about the nature of those conversations in our exclusive interview.

Mike believes that the game of soccer is especially powerful when it comes to teaching these valuable life lessons.

“Soccer can be one of the most beautiful games in the world,” said Mike. “One of the things that makes it so is its simplicity. Also, whether you have access to the best equipment in the world or not, most kids can participate in soccer from a very young age.”

To read the full TAKE 5 interview with Mike, visit And come back next month for another exclusive TAKE 5 interview!

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of sportsmanship and integrity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive™, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display good sportsmanship. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the field.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company