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Monday, November 28, 2016

The Start of My Soccer Career

Where do most sports or soccer stories start? With someone that gave them a reason to love the sport. The sport you cherish, and live to be able to play every second. Its simple really, it was my father. A man who has long been dedicated to sports. He played football, track and field, and bits and drabs of baseball. It wasn't until his sophomore year of high school where he realized he had a passion for soccer. He switched up his time and effort from the American past-time sport of Football (or better named hand-egg), and joined up with the up and coming European football.

Image result for men's soccer from 80s
A Men's College Soccer Team 1984. Peep the nostalgic uni's.
This was a time in the 80's that would become the emergence for soccer in America, where the journey of modern soccer truly rose. Short-shorts, funky hair, and long white tube socks, the style was in full force and my father jumped aboard. He utilized his tenacity from football and applied it on the soccer field. A true brute of a defender. At centerback or fullback it makes no difference, he was winning the ball. Whether that meant he had to go through you or not, he won it.
A unique feature, which almost seemed to be genetic as I have acquired it, was his long throw-in. He used the full might of his run up to launch a 35-yard bomb into the game, something I have further increased. A weapon of this caliber is what I try to capitalize on, making it another set piece. The journey for my father continued on to the collegiate-level, playing as a walk on at a division 2 school. He made the most of what time he got. He didn't play much after his freshman year as raising me and my four brothers took over, but his love for the sport never left him.

Image result for father critiquing son in soccerNo, the passion and drive never left, it just changed to a different aspect of the game. Now the same passion that ran through his blood was passed down to me and my brothers. We all played on little-league teams, of which my father coached all 4 of us throughout the years. Playing under your father isn't always the easiest for people, but for me I loved every second of it. My brothers dropped the sport and picked up other niches and pastimes, but I stuck with it. I couldn't see myself without the sport that my father, my "hero" had brought me up to love. He told me stories of his glory days, and it made me picture what could for me in the future. I felt a need to try and live up to what his legacy was, though not as grand as being one of David Beckham's kids.

 Yet I think what he did that truly made me love the sport, was the time we spent together, as sentimental as that sounds. I loved the moments on the field knowing my father was there for me. We sat and had our eyes glued to the TV together, gazing upon EPL, MLS, and international games. Your father being your coach and spectator it leaves a big opening for up-close observations. The actions and mistakes I made, and as well as the positives, would be brought up on car rides home.

My dad would critique me after games and practices, like any perfectionist and reminiscent father would. Yet unlike most, I loved the critique, I thrived in his thoughts. I used what he said, took it to heart, and began to do what I could to improve. I wanted to be able to be like my dad in his old stories. I wanted to play soccer and make him proud.

Now I was never anything special from a young age, all the way up to high school. I was on the lowest travel team, the E-team, with aspirations to play on the A-team. The A-team was comprised of popular kids and their friends, but they did win states twice for my town, and managed to increase my desire to join them. My father was able and willing to give me the truth about my soccer skills to than improve on them. I truly thank him for this because without that I wouldn't of wanted of know what to work on, no matter how dedicated I was. I think I gained his work ethic, seeing as how he now works 50 hours a week.

 I am grateful for what he has done for me, pushing me to better, and instilling in me the desire to play at a higher level of soccer. Yet the biggest take away for what my dad did for me was the essential need to try and make him proud. It was something every child, and soccer player wants to hear from their parents mouth. I did hear it when I got myself to the collegiate level, and to this day nothing has made me more joyous. The trainings I bared through were worth it to get where I am today, and I am happy with how far I've come. Something that you can learn further more about in reading future posts.

1 comment:

  1. Connor, this is my first time seeing this site and I am truly touched by how much you have enjoyed and appreciated our times together on and off the soccer field.
    I have loved every moment of our soccer experiences with you.
    You are just in the beginning of your life adventures and I am certain you are destined for great things.
    This is a really neat and interesting soccer blog site and hope it grows quickly for you.