Gary, along with his brother Brian, started 3four3 back in 2009. Since then they have amassed over 300 written articles, hundreds of hours of game and training footage, and thousands of subscribers to their online courses and social media accounts.
Gary frequently reminds me that I was one of the original readers and tells me the story of when I first commented on his then unknown blog. He was getting coffee and remembers seeing a comment notification pop up and saying something to himself like “someone is actually reading this stuff I write?”
Well, since then, I’ve been lucky enough to have many in-depth conversations with Gary covering topics ranging from soccer to exploring the universe, and everything in between. I’ve recorded a couple of those conversations, some without him knowing. After months of trying to get another podcast recorded and released, we finally did it.
In this episode, Gary opens up a bit. Which is important because it’s easy to forget that behind the screen is a human. Someone who experiences joy and pain just like you and me. Someone who has aspirations, and someone who has fears.
He is an extremely deep thinker. The long pauses you’ll hear between questions and answers are him calculating his next move. The guy doesn’t even order food without fully evaluating the situation around him.
Just to paint the picture for everyone, it was pushing 100 degrees in Southern California that day. Gary and I decided to record on the patio in his backyard. I traveled light with just a backpack, computer, and microphone on this trip. We sat several feet away from each other and you’ll hear the rustling sound as him and I pass the mic back and forth.
If you’re looking for ways to get in touch with Gary, start with Twitter. If you’d like to see more of the work him and Brian have done, check out 343coaching.com. There you can sign up for one of the online coaching courses, or just poke around and watch some videos or read some articles from the past.
Oh last thing, he assures me that if you leave good comments/questions below, he’ll be more than happy to respond. 🙂
- Subscribe to 3four3 FM on iTunes
- Subscribe to 3four3 FM on Stitcher
Erick De la Rocha says
Awesome. Way to pick at Gary’s brain John.
The title should be: Getting close and personal with the 3four3 mastermind Gary Kleiban.
But all kidding aside, I’ll be looking into the first book Gary recommended by Seth Godin. It really hit home when you mentioned here at 3four3 we are a tribe.
Last, interesting perspective on the suburban player having the better resources to advance in the U.S. soccer world and how the system is set up to benefit that population of player. I can definitely agree with that as it is obvious here in the club community in San Diego .
Keep up the great work you guys.
-Erick De la Rocha
gary kleiban says
The system is totally biased towards players from a privileged household.
Without promotion & relegation, clubs must adopt the pay-to-play business model that we all see today.
If 3four3 were to start teams of its own, I too would choose a pay-to-play business model. Otherwise, you can’t survive.
Let’s keep spreading the truth of this matter.
I listened to this 2x as the first time was broken up by life and the second time was straight through in peace. Enjoyed very much as indicated by a tweet I sent. I’ve been thinking on this podcast as it relates to something that’s been on my mind a great deal…
…Herein lies part of the conundrum for the suburban white cultured family as it relates to ‘just get the fuck out of the way.’ I admire this ability in latin cultures, this emotion you speak of- the grit through demographic and socioeconomics to play 5 hours on a Saturday after the game, the sense of living and dying waiting only for Sunday to breath when ‘your’ heroes take the field. I wish for this entrained culture that can allow a parent to get out of the way…. in America, at least my experience and therefor my children’s’ of America every aspect of my their global football experience has to be built and engrained from within as their american soccer experience is in good hands thanks to our flawed model but their football experience is painstakingly built by me, gladly I may add. I have to be the hispanic, afro-latin, german-slavic that comes to a love of the game through generations organically building and creating our own culture within the household that has as its root a love of the game beyond just something you do on Tuesday and Thursday for 90 minutes with a game on Saturday and practice practice practice adult centered adult centered adult centered…. I’ve literally had to become my kids neighbor who is ALWAYS available to play…I am the remote turning the TV on to footy as background, eschewing other sports as is natural in other parts of the world, I am the FIFA 16 playing partner, the YouTube host to: el fenomeno, Zizou, The Iceman, Juan Roman, Messi, Neymar, Henry in order to drive an organic joy taproot of the game where its my kid standing on a ball in an arcade, my kid dribbling through the grocery store to the dismay of all those watching— including my wife. I have to drive away the affluence worldview and entitlement ideology for my kids positioned into the system- that doesn’t have a whole lot of grit as you mention. All while hoping against hope that it isn’t all too much as the culture I’m surrounded by tells me…early specialization is bad and too much too much too much. Bleh…It gives one a migraine and a great deal of self doubt as to the methods. My kid told me he wants to be better than Messi…. what’s a parent to do.
My God I wish I could just observe, and enjoy what is so natural everywhere else for the hundred reasons it works… and leave my seeds to their own means – but weed killer is everywhere in America in many forms and the taproot suffers if not properly tended-I can’t even find a group of kids in a neighborhood and relatively close knit community for a pick up game- EVER— ask ten twelve kids maybe get one. Time after time. So its me playing 1v1, wall ball, insane dribbling games, ice cream treats for foot skills, Rita’s when they do it on their own…. sure you can say up till 9:30 to watch Champion’s League because every other sport on TV is just….. “so boring.”
Beautiful this american experience as it relates to the game… and maddening and frustrating — and to be honest, I admire even more those of us in America (white suburban) who are doing everything in their power to change the face of the game in their own garden, all the while reaping some of the benefits the interviewer and interviewee speak of because we are in the proper class, at once privileged yet from my POV strangely deprived.
If I just get the fuck out of the way, the garden may wind up full of english ivy.
Zev Taublieb says
I enjoy a lot of your e-mails. I think you touch and raise some crucial points.
You talk about the importance of promotion and relegation. Often the typical “American” is known for rooting for the winners. When the Lakers do bad people go to the Clippers. If there was a promotion and relegation system do you feel that fans would stop going to games. If for example a Houston Dynamo was relegated to a USL would this have horrid fnancial implications?
You talk about how the “the white boys” have had an advantage because they often have more of a financial backing and understanding of the politics. In this aspect I don’t disagree.
However, I believe Latino kids have the biggest advantage of all, which is they grew up since they were 0 years old kicking a ball. Of course they were “more talented.” They grew up in the game. However, as these players grow older they are told how amazing they are. They are treated as the next Messi. Inevitably when someone is told how much better they are than everyone else the emphasis to try hard goes away. A simple method may be to push the kid to an older team, but then that team he was on may not win as much. I would argue our system is not broken because of the culture of races. It is broken because of the way we treat our “best” players and because we underestimate passion and overestimate ability. I can name 10 other “Latino” players I played with who were “better” but they did not gain the Number one tool for success in any line of work which is the reaction after being told NO. I am sure you were told many times about making this successful website company. I bet people have told you no your whole life, and it is because of that, that you made it to where you are today. When these talented Latino players are told “no” for the first time at age 15 16 17 it is too late.
Since they were 6,7,8 ect years old they were the best and never had to work harder than the guy next to them. They did not know what it was like to sit on the bench until they were 17.
It is not the culture of the families. It is the culture of how we treat our best players. We treat them like gods because winning clouds our judgment to develop.
Thank you for your valuable time.
Professional Soccer Player in the USL
gary kleiban says
Last night I started replying to your first comment/question regarding your view on the potential impact of relegation on a team.
It turned into a 1000 word response (and I’m still not done). 🙂
I’m going to go ahead and turn that into an article, instead of posting here.
Not to leave you with zero, though, I’d like for you and others to consider the other side of the equation. That is, what happens to the fandom/support for the club that gets promoted?
Thank you for the inspiration, and I hope to publish a full article response to your comments soon.
p.s. I’ll do the same regarding your thoughts on Latinos.