Think Global, Act Local: Have You Met Moorhead High Soccer Coach Marc Wilson?

Think Global, Act Local: Have You Met Moorhead High Soccer Coach Marc Wilson?

Warm greetings from the land of 1000 hills, aka RWANDA.

I hope you start 2023 healthy and full of energy!

As we all make New Year’s resolutions, I wanted to connect with a member of our FM community who wears many hats and impacts the lives of tomorrow’s leaders: our beloved youth. I was lucky enough to meet Coach Marc Wilson at Moorhead High School (MHS) as I have had the honor of being part of the MHS Soccer coaching staff since the summer of 2021. I asked Coach Wilson to introduce himself:

“I am married to the incomparable Sunny Clark and have two daughters aged 15 and 12 who constantly surprise and delight. I care deeply about my job as an English teacher at Horizon Middle School. I also enjoy coaching football with the Moorhead High School boys’ team and college basketball. My faith is an important part of me and I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I lived in Moorhead for 11 years and before that in New York, Japan, Utah, Belgium and Indiana where I grew up I enjoy many hobbies especially travelling, eating, playing sports and embarrassing my children.

Coach Wilson is one of the welcoming faces to anyone entering Horizon Middle School at Moorhead or the Spud Football Ground at Moorhead High School.

The next time you see him, ask him for one of his many anecdotes about traveling around the world.

Until we meet again: Asalam Alaykum!

– Cyuse

Where do you call home?

Home is a funny word and I never know how to answer the question “Where are you from?” Right now my home is definitely Moorhead, where I’ve lived for over 11 years, but I’ve been lucky enough to call many different areas home. I was born in Strasbourg, France, although my family is American, and grew up in West Lafayette, IN. I also felt at home in Provo, UT; Belgium; Shikoku, Japan; Costa Mesa, California; and New York, NY.

What is the story behind your passion for traveling the world?

I feel a little uncomfortable answering this question because I feel like there’s a lot of the world out there that I haven’t experienced and because I recognize that my chance to see interesting and relatively remote places in our world is the result of uncommon privilege.

As a child, my father took us on work trips that extended beyond the usual tourist trips to stays just long enough to begin to feel the rhythm of normal life in a foreign environment. In addition to the famous sites, I had the opportunity to observe the mundane differences that can really color the mood of a place. I remember going back to America and waking up to the idea that the world didn’t have to be like it was in Indiana.

As an adult, I continued to create opportunities for me and my family to be in different places. I love visiting the main attractions, but what appeals to me the most are the quiet times when I can feel myself slipping into adapted habits of everyday life in a new place. And, if I’m particularly observant and attuned to the place, I can sometimes get a glimpse of what daily life for a local is like. So why do I have a passion for travel? I love being able to question and reassess my perspective on the world and how to live in it, and I think immersing myself in different contexts is a powerful (and privileged) way to do that.

What has been your experience taking on the dual roles of teacher and coach?

I was always an English teacher in grade 8 first and then a coach, but I loved coaching more than I ever imagined. I don’t know if I’m a particularly good coach at winning and losing, but I relish the opportunity to help my players have a powerful experience together. I love teaching English because the ability to communicate clearly can be such an empowering skill for young people. Sport is a very different type of empowerment, but when the circumstances are right, the lessons learned and felt through team play can be just as empowering.

I enjoy coaching at the entry level for our high school boys soccer team. Our team attracts players from very different backgrounds, both culturally and in terms of football ability. We have players who come to us with extensive club experience and knowledge of training methods and tactics, we have players who are physically exceptional athletes but have limited football training, and we have players who have played in parks with their buddies for years and can get the ball to stick to their feet like it’s velcro, but they’ve never played an official game and don’t even know some basic rules. Needless to say we are a mess at the start of the season. Seeing them understand each other, learning to play to each other’s strengths and covering each other’s weaknesses, learning to communicate constructively and positively, and hopefully facilitating some of that process as a coach, is a real privilege. I think it’s also a great metaphor for how our community can embrace diversity.

What are the received ideas about learning foreign languages?

I speak French quite fluently and I have some small skills in Japanese and Spanish. I think maybe some Americans who have been in the country for several generations think that learning another language is incredibly difficult and irrelevant to their lives. I would surely disagree with both. Learning another language (even learning it poorly) can provide another way of interpreting the world. And learning even a few other languages ​​can really make it easier to connect with members of our multilingual community. During a training session, I was encouraged to learn a phrase or two in the language of my students, and I found that it could really strengthen my relationship with my students and my players.

Can you share some of the work you do in the community? How can others get involved?

Besides coaching, I constantly feel pressured to get more involved in the community as I learn about the lives of my students, but I don’t spend as much time volunteering as I should. I donate blood regularly and encourage anyone qualified to at least try it. I also like to go with my family when we have a free afternoon at the Great Plains Food Bank. They are very organized and allow us to have a good experience – I usually leave feeling like I learned more than helped.

I also think a great way to get involved is to bond through a group. For me, my faith community (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) gives me the opportunity to connect with neighbors whose lives often differ significantly from mine. In these situations, these people can often be helpful and sometimes I can help them.

As a citizen of the world, what is the next problem you are trying to solve?

Ha—I don’t claim to be able to solve a problem more than half the problems I create! I constantly feel anxious about the threats of climate change, racism and poverty, but I don’t have new ideas to solve them. I believe in the power and value of each person doing what they think is best and right within their sphere of influence.

What is your 2030 vision for the Fargo-Moorhead community?

I hope we can better embrace the increasingly multicultural nature of our community. My vision is that, like our Moorhead football team, we will learn to see the value and strengths of our neighbors and feel the generosity enough to support our neighbors in their weaknesses. When I have taken advantage of opportunities like this with people from different backgrounds than mine in our community, I have found rich rewards in terms of perspective, knowledge, food and a greater feeling. of value and well-being.

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