Connecting with the Female Athlete Written By Charity Butler
Fika—(n.) coffee and dessert; (v.) the act of consuming coffee and dessert with friends.
The above explanation is pretty close to the definition of “fika” in the Swedish dictionary. At least, that is what my friends tell me. I cannot actually read it.
Anyway, this word is well-known in Sweden. It is unique that the same word is used as both a noun and a verb.
While walking through the mall, a friend may ask, “Would you like some fika?” This noun usage of the word means you would stop for coffee and dessert while you are out and about.
I have seen “Fika” signs, referring to the tangible treats, in the Skovde malls. Swedes do love their sweets and caffeine.
On the other hand, someone may call and say, “Let’s go fika.” In this case, you and your friend give this small word action. You would take the time to go get coffee and dessert. You would sit and talk about all that is happening in your lives. You would make time to enjoy each other’s company.
In most cases, fika is both a noun and a verb simultaneously. The act of genuine interest in the life of another is coupled with the actual food and drink. The focus of fika is spending quality time together, a true act of friendship.
It seems in our fast-paced American lives that we tend to neglect fika. We always say, “Oh, we should do lunch,” or “Wow, it has been forever. We should get together sometime.”
Well, I am coming to realize that “sometime” does not really exist. Unless I set a time and a day, I will never actually experience that fika… anytime at all. The idea will remain a well-intentioned concept with no action bringing it to pass.
Maybe the coffee and dessert could be a lunch of sandwiches, a day at the beach or just a phone call.
The site and menu are not important. It is the time spent investing in and loving others that makes a lasting impact on people. Many will quote the old saying, “Love is spelled T-I-M-E.”
I have come to realize, though, that time does not stand still. There are twenty-four hours in every day. The seconds tick on. The minutes pass, and the hours seem so few.
I do not have any more time. I cannot manage time, either. It is unruly and impossible to control as it marches forward minute after passing minute. What can I do?
I can manage me. I can manage my schedule and make time for whatever is important in my life. More importantly, I can develop a proper focus on people. I can learn from my Swedish friends the importance of fika.
When it comes to female athletes and the game of softball, we must realize that teams are made up of individual people. Each player carries her own perspectives, past experiences and baggage.
Females do not compartmentalize. Every area of life intricately intertwines. If girls feel disconnected or insecure in one aspect of life, this challenge affects all other areas (including sport performance).
As women, we are innately social. We need connection. As a player or as a coach, be determined to connect players on a genuine level. Value them for who they are and not only what they can do on the field.
When female players feel entirely valued, they are then free to play without fear and can perform at their best. The “do” improves, when they are loved, connected and free to be themselves. Accomplishing this connection takes patience, time and intentionality.
In its most elementary state, life is simply made up of nouns and verbs. People are nouns, and love is a verb.
Charity Butler is respected nationally & internationally as a pro athlete, writer, speaker, collegiate coach, hitting instructor and Certified Intrinsic Life Coach®.
Currently, as a Pro Speaker for Sports World, Inc, Charity travels the country speaking to more than 40,000 people annually. As a recognized expert in confidence training, she also presents at various conferences, colleges & universities.
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