Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Game in US

The people who are trying to win the bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup are holding a contest. They have asked for people to write in and share how the game is in each of us. I thought I would share my entry with everyone. Here it is:

I coach a team of 5 and 6 year olds in their second year of soccer. The game is just barely becoming part of them. They are learning the basics; dribbling, shooting and being part of the team. Most importantly they are learning to have fun while playing soccer. The World cup is a way for these children (who will be 14 -16 in 2018) to increase the game that is in them, the game I am putting in them through coaching.

The kids I coach are taught that the first rule of soccer is to have fun. If you’re not having fun while playing, the game can’t be in you. To see the kids smiling and enjoying the game shows me that it is in them. Soccer is also in me. I have played it since I was seven. I have always been enamored with the game. I’m one of the few who espoused soccer when there wasn’t a professional league here.

I had the opportunity to take my Father and my oldest son to the USA – Mexico match a couple of years ago in Phoenix. My son was 6 at that time. We were sitting in what most would call hostile territory. It didn’t matter. My son was into the game. He was chanting with the fans. The game was in him that night. Now as my second son begins his playing career of soccer, the beautiful game is growing in him. This is how the game grows in them. I have no idea where my son’s playing career will end up, but this much I know; the game is in him now and will be for life.

The World Cup in 1994 changed the view of soccer in the states. It can do it again in 2018.

You see I'm a little bit passionate about soccer. But I know that just like other sports, the only way the next generation can gain a love of the game is by helping them to learn it. That's the reason I'm coaching my 2nd son's team. They are playing U6 (5 and 6 year olds to those of you who don't know). It is at this age that kids begin to learn to love or not to love certain sports. So I have entered the contest. Do I think I will win it? Of course not. But hey at least they can read what I feel to be the most important part of getting the game in us.

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