As one of the founders of the US Premier Soccer Academy, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the children who are currently participating in our Academy programs to date. Your passion and enthusiasm for the game makes the work by the parents, coaches, and directors both a source of real gratification and pleasure.
For anyone new to our program, I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for allowing us the privilege to help your child develop in soccer. It is truly a gift to enhance each and every child’s life.
I also want to take the time to talk about my experiences as a father, a coach, a volunteer and a business owner. I have 5 children of my own from ages 23 to 19 months and have spent a lifetime coaching my oldest 3 boys in various different sports. I have seen a lot of great things and a lot of bad things in sports, some due to passion and some due to ego.
Everyone of us wants to see their child suceed. We want them to find their niche, their happiness, their talent. I myself have strived for excellence my whole life. The problem is there is no time to strive for excellence in everything. As the saying goes, “A jack of all trades, master of none”. In today’s times, we are moving faster than ever. Now is the time to make choices. We need to pick the things that will give us the biggest benefit. Kobe Bryant credits his success in basketball with playing soccer in Italy! I believe a soccer player can learn any other sport easier than any other athlete can learn soccer. In my opinion, the footskills in soccer are the most challenging than any other skill in any other sport. So start with soccer and allow them the opportunity to switch to another sport when they are older.
Some people tell me an athlete is born, not made. Matt tells me the US is ranked 15th in the world according to the FIFA/Coca Cola World Rankings. By that same ranking system, Croatia is ranked 8th. According to Google Public Data, the United States population is roughly 304 million compared to a population of 4 million people living in Croatia. Does this mean that Croatians are just born naturally more talented in the sport of soccer than Americans, or is there another problem present?
I can say firsthand I saw a difference from the soccer players on my team that played at a high level. Each and everyone of them excelled at Academics. Is that coincidence? I also noticed they had an excellent competitive spirit. However they were not competitive in a nasty way, they were rooting for each other, but openly fighting to get better marks than the other. It was an extermely healthy atitude as friends, as a team, as neighbors and as school mates.
I will leave you pondering with the following;
If your child is skilled at soccer, will they have fun playing?
If your child is skilled at soccer, will they have choices on where to play or what to play?
If your child is skilled at soccer, will they excel at school?
If your child excelled at school, would they have more college options?
If they excelled at college, would they have more job opportunities?
I think you get the picture, what’s your next move…