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Life lessons from Ted Lasso

If you've spent any time with our Content & Marketing Strategist, Hannah, you will have probably heard a Ted Lasso reference or two. Some may use the word ‘obsessed’, though Hannah prefers to say she’s just passionate about a good story. After endless tidbits of info being dropped into random conversations on a daily basis, we’ve finally let her write a story about her favourite show and the life lessons we can take away from it.

The greatest thing to come out of 2020 (let’s face it, there wasn’t much) was the multi-award winning show, Ted Lasso. Now, before you completely dismiss it on the basis that it’s about a soccer team, please bear with me. As someone who couldn’t really care less about soccer, I was absolutely hooked from the first episode. Created by, written and starring Saturday Night Live alumni and all round funny guy Jason Sudeikis, this show is like a warm hug. It’s full of uplifting moments, as well as some pretty deep, life-altering themes and messages too. AND it’s funny. What more can I say? Plenty, so please read on.

Lesson 1: Kindness is sexy

On the surface, Ted Lasso is a typical fish-out-of-water story. Ted, an American football coach, is hired by an English premier league soccer team. The catch? He doesn’t know a single thing about soccer (kind of like me). Ted arrives in London and is met with enough hostility to make anyone want to curl up in a ball, then pack their bags and run home with their tail between their legs.

Not Ted. Ted is possibly the kindest, most decent human I’ve ever encountered in a TV program and he’s on a mission to make a difference in these young soccer players’ lives. The poor bloke has a whole stadium calling him a wanker at one point, and yet he keeps on smiling. Does he win them over? Well, you didn’t think I’d give everything away, did you?

Lesson 2: Be curious, not judgemental

One of my favourite scenes in the whole series involves a game of darts. That’s definitely a sentence I didn’t think I’d ever write prior to watching this show. Ted is up against one of the show’s villains – the club’s former manager, Rupert. From the outset, Rupert has decided Ted doesn’t have a clue about anything – including darts.

Well, let’s just say ol’ Rupie has a thing or two to learn from Ted, who while playing darts, quotes a line supposedly by poet Walt Whitman. ‘Be curious, not judgemental’ reveals so much about Ted and the qualities he tries to instil in others. I’ve since learnt that this is not a real quote (at least not by Walt Whitman), but gosh – could it be any more perfect? Essentially, it’s about asking questions before jumping to conclusions – something I’m sure we’ve all failed to do at some point in life.

Lesson 3: Be a goldfish

Which animal has the shortest memory of all? It’s a goldfish. Ted uses this line to support a team member who is down on himself after a match. It reminds us all to not dwell on our mistakes – to move on as quickly as a goldfish would. Because they literally can’t remember. And sometimes we could all do with a bit of short term memory loss.

Lesson 4: Teamwork makes the dream work

You won’t be surprised to learn that a show about soccer has a lot of lessons about teamwork. But let’s just set the scene a little. Ted arrives in London to a team that is very much broken. For the most part, they don’t like each other. There’s some intense rivalry between a couple of the main characters, and their new manager Rebecca is destined to see them fail.

Ted makes it his goal to bring the team back together. He gets to know each player on a deeper level, he makes some pretty risky decisions (like benching the team’s star player during a pretty important match) but most of all, he makes them laugh and actually enjoy themselves again. Fans of the show have dubbed Ted’s coaching style as ‘The Lasso Way’, and his philosophies towards leadership are making waves in not only the sports industry, but in business circles too.                                                       
When you think about it, so many things in life rely on working with other people. Whether you’re into sports or not, Ted’s coaching style will absolutely inspire you to be a better team player.

Lesson 5: You can always win people over with snacks

In the very first few episodes of the show, we’re introduced to the club’s manager – Rebecca. Actress Hannah Waddingham (who among other achievements is famous for ringing a bell and chanting ‘shame’ in Game of Thrones – if you know, you know) plays a woman scorned SO well. On the surface, she’s pleasant enough but we soon learn that there’s a lot more to her and that her initial intentions are not quite what they seem. Does Ted let her cool exterior bother him? Of course he doesn’t. Instead, he bakes her biscuits, pops them in a cute little pink box and delivers them to her desk every single morning to initiate a chat and get to know her. Again, I’m not going to give too much away, but who could be mad at a friendly, handsome, moustachioed man delivering a box of shortbread to your desk every day? Not me.

There is so much more I could say about this amazing show (I promise I’m in no way endorsed by Apple, wouldn’t that be nice?) but I’ll let you watch it for yourself before we talk more. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you may fall in love with Jason Sudeikis, but most of all you’ll leave each episode feeling a little bit lighter and like there is plenty of good still left in the world.

Words: Hannah Mills | Photography: Courtesy of Apple TV+

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