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Southwest Virginia Rush

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Feb, 2020

National Developmental Director Chris Panayiotou on Enjoyment: Core Value Highlight

‘Enjoy your work, this is a gift.  The desires of diligent workers are satisfied.’

Finding love and joy within the beautiful game brings passion and desire to the work that is put in. Enjoyment is an essential Core Value to The Rush Way and will be highlighted throughout the month of February. 

National Development Director Chris Panayiotou is familiar with working with developing young athletes. Having this experience, he is aware of how enjoyment effects player’s game:

“I think enjoyment is critical in every athlete's game and at every age and stage of development the child is in.  If the environment created is the right one, is player centered, inclusive, focuses on the holistic development of the whole child and we can prioritize the love of the sport before learning the sport we will bring joy to those we interact with.  If the children enjoy it are engaged and are part of that process as we have given them a voice and choice this will keep them playing and exploring in a decision rich environment. Training Sessions and Sports Games should feel the excitement and anticipation we go through on Christmas morning when we were really young!  Enjoy the process!”


Chris has found enjoyment in the game himself. He has an impressive playing experience resume, including claiming the National Championship in 1990 playing for Solihull College of Technology. He is no stranger to experiencing the joy that soccer has to offer: 


“I enjoy the fact that there is an uncertainty of outcome to the game.  The fact that anything can happen and that is it unpredictable and can host many emotions in the same game as well as within the same moment. 


He also finds enjoyment in coaching and developing young players in both their game and their character:


“I enjoy watching players when they have had a bit of a struggle and we have supported them through that struggle the look on their face when they have completed a technique or skill that they had been working on and then they accomplish it because they persevered and persisted in the face of set back.”  


Chris believes that enjoyment can affect all of the other Core Values: 


“I think enjoyment affects the other core values as they fit concentrically like the Olympic rings, enjoyment, can bring passion, which can unite us in a cause, which in turn helps us stay accountable to ourselves.  Encourages to stay tenacious. It can teach us so much! Science shows us that when people enjoy something they try and get better at it, so this is why enjoyment is critical.”


“It is an absolute privilege to play the sport,” Chris finishes, “work hard at training and always show up to compete, aim to be the best that you can be at every training session and know that your best will differ from day to day.  Know that you can not be a 10/10 every time however you can try to be. You can have a 10/10 mindset and enjoyment factor. Reflect, what will you stop doing, what will you start doing and what will you stay doing? Try and improve 1% every day and always find the moments of enjoyment and think about why that was memorable for you.  If you enjoyed a team mate tell them!”


In the coming weeks, Rush will continue to highlight the Core Value of Enjoyment and the impact that it has in the sport of soccer. Stay tuned as we continue to hear from different members of the Rush Family on the Value of Enjoyment!


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Radford, Virginia 24143

Phone: 410-271-3897
Email: [email protected]


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