“Don’t you feel guilty encouraging children to pursue their soccer dreams?”
When the odds are so heavily stacked against them.
When the odds of success are so overwhelming.
When the likelihood of playing for Liverpool, Barcelona or Milan disintegrates with every heartbeat.
My answer will always remain the same.
“You’re asking the wrong question!”
Of course the odds are against us…
You and I are probably not going to win a World Cup or a Premiership now. We’re not even going to play second division.
We may count ourselves lucky to get a kick with the pub side…
Irrespective…it’s still the wrong question.
A better question might be…
“What happens to our children if they don’t pursue their dreams?”
Try this on for size…
This is what it looks like from the inside out.
I’m a retired player and soon to be coach… In my head the dream is still alive.
I’m a father with a heart full of love and energy to shower all my children.
What if I quit?
What if I surrender to the guilt and extinguish the flame?
What happens to me?
To my children…and their children?
What happens to the soccer community?
No doubt, the odds are long, the chances are slim and the journey is daunting.
Time for a change in attitude…
The odds are not that long. How do you explain the sixteen year old playing A-League waiting to be shipped off to Europe still tightly wrapped in bubble wrap.
What is soccer success anyway?
Do we have to win a World Cup?
When I reflect, ponder and dissect my own thirty years in the soccer abyss, a big part of me is proud that I failed.
…Because through struggle comes the most important question.
“Why am I doing this?”
At first…its fun.
Then comes the allure of fame and money…then to prove certain people wrong.
But after 3 decades of gathering small handfuls of success, those motivations disappear.
You begin to play for the playing itself.
That’s why I chase my boys with my arthritic knees and still give it a crack today even when the body has packed it in.
We have no choice!
The dream is always alive…
But now…it has embodied and infected our children. The vitality and energy that only transpires from our dreams is never lost.
Just passed on!
The alternative is unthinkable, borderline criminal!
“May the winds of destiny blow you to the stars”