I’ve never played soccer, despite my heritage.
That’s a fact that sometimes surprises the kids I coach. They’ll ask, ‘what position did you play, coach?’ And I’ll let them know then I’ve never worn shin guards. Often, they’ll respect the road I’ve taken. I know what I’m talking about. I’ve helped to make them better in this beautiful game.
Sometimes, though, the challenge me.
Show me how to do that move, coach, they’ll say, knowing I’ll struggle. But I’ll give it a try. Because they’re my team, and even thought I don’t always get it right, I always give them my best. I have a few friends who are big football fans, near and far, and I’m grateful for every day on the pitch.
Even in the sports I did play, I was never a star. But that’s OK. I believe the struggles I had as a player helped make me a better coach. I felt like every day I spent on a team, I had to fight for my position. I feel like I can identify with more players, because most feel that way, too.
I’m pretty protective of my girls, who all play soccer. I’m not that crazy parent who has to have a hand in everything if I’m not coaching her, but I do have a high standard. It’s because I value the experience of being on a team and having that chance to grow and learn on the field.
I do a lot of growing, too.