Whether you love soccer or not, you’re going to love Ted Lasso. This comedy series from Apple TV stars Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso, a small-time American football coach who is hired to coach a British soccer team by new team owner Rebecca Walton. The catch? He has absolutely zero experience and knows nothing about soccer. The result? Some of the funniest moments I’ve ever seen on TV, and surprisingly, some of the most inspirational and heartwarming ones, too.
So, if you haven’t caught up on one of the best shows ever created yet, go check it out. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite Ted Lasso quotes that I believe every person should add to their coaching playbook.
1. “Even Woody and Buzz got under each other’s plastic.”
Think about how many hours you spend each year with the people you work with. You might even spend more time with them than your own family! No matter what season your company is in, there are times when things feel uncomfortable. There are times when tensions are high. There are times when it’s difficult to keep your cool. What we can learn from this Ted Lasso quote here, is that even the best teams experience frustration. The key, is to keep your focus on the bigger goal in mind, lean on each other, and remember that you’re all working towards the same goal.
2. “When it comes to locker rooms, I like ’em just like my mother’s bathing suits. I only wanna see ’em in one piece.”
You might be thinking that competition is good for your team because it keeps your players sharp, focused, and motivated. However, like Ted Lasso, I like to see my team in one piece. Having a team that competes with each other may create a high-achieving culture, but this kind of destructive behavior is the number one enemy of work cultures. Managers convince themselves the performance is worth the headache, until their culture is ripped apart from the inside. Keep your competition on the outside, otherwise your employees will minimize the successes of their peers and look to succeed at everyone else’s expense.
3. “Hey, takin’ on a challenge is a lot like ridin’ a horse. If you’re comfortable while you’re doin’ it, you’re probably doin’ it wrong.”
The fear of success is one of the fundamental fears of the human race, because it challenges comfort zones. We want to perform at the level that we expect for ourselves because it makes us feel safe. And whenever we move up a level, we start to panic. We fear that people will think we’re a fraud, or even that the expectations of us will rise permanently. You need to release this fear and increase your expectations of yourself. All it takes is mindset. Carry this piece of Ted Lasso wisdom everywhere you go. Never settle, and keep raising your own personal bar. That’s what inspires the people around you.
4. “You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? Got a ten-second memory. Be a goldfish, Sam.”
This may be one of the most beloved and famous quotes from Ted Lasso so far. “Be a goldfish.” Imagine you’re running a race, and your setbacks are like 1-pound weights in your pockets. Can you still run with the weights in your pockets? Sure. Can you still finish the race? Absolutely. But isn’t it a heck of a lot harder to run with weights in your pockets than without them? Would you enjoy running in the race with all those weights piling up in your pockets? Of course not! Setbacks happen around every corner, and no matter how hard you push forward, it’s significantly harder to keep going if you’re weighed down by the past. That’s why you want to be a goldfish. Face the problems in front of you, deal with them, and move on. You can still get where you want to go by carrying around that dead weight, but it’s much more enjoyable and freeing to just be a goldfish.
5. “Be curious. Not judgmental.”
This moment in Ted Lasso was one of the most satisfying and powerful moments I’ve ever seen on TV. If you’re worried about spoilers, there’s a lot more to this scene than you’ll see here, so don’t worry! Watch the clip here.
Your curiosity is everything. It’s your pathway to growth, It’s the best way to motivate yourself for success. If you want to move forward with anything, in any area of your life, you must let go of the judgement, the fear, and the doubt. The more curious you are, the more successful you become.
6. “I believe in hope. I believe in Believe.”
"Believe" is a word key to the "Lasso Way". It’s his leadership manifesto. It was meant to be a simple expression that the team could use to pull themselves up from their middling position in the Premier League — and possibly even apply to their off-pitch lives. It is one of Ted's core tenets, and he is known to passionately rail against those who showed a lack of faith in his team. Your capacity for long-term growth is predicated on how vulnerable and real you can be both with yourself and with your team. That’s why it’s so important to create a manifesto so you can declare the kind of leader you want to be for your team. A manifesto is a public declaration of your intentions, your opinions, your objectives and your motives as a coach. By presenting your manifesto in public, you add personal accountability and create reverence with your people. Your people will actually trust you more if you’re completely transparent with your own vision and goals as a leader. And the more you invest, the better it will be.
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