The Road To Success
500 miles away from home, on Wednesday morning we began our journey towards Overland Park, Kansas. The occasion? Aces u16 girls competing and defending the U.S. Youth Soccer Presidents Cup Regional title. Making it here two years in a row has been no accident, just like winning a national title a year ago was not luck. It’s years of hard work, years of commitment, years of ups and downs.
I remember the fall of 2012 when the journey began; every day the girls working on their ball skills and 1v1’s. Fast forward to today, who would’ve thought that this group of girls would be competing in events of this importance? “This team will compete at the highest level when they are in high school,” Our DOC told me during a training session at Olympic back in 2012. Did I believe him? I’ll be honest, no. I had just met Dwayne, quite frankly I remember thinking he was crazy. As time went on, I learned more about player development, I started to believe. Looking back, I was the crazy one for thinking I knew all about the game of soccer. I had no idea about the amazing process of player development. You give up results on paper at a young age to succeed at the high school ages; when it matters. Its that simple. Very few are willing to believe, trust, and commit to this process. The ones that do, get to experience unforgettable moments.
Heading back home on this 500 mile ride, we didn’t meet our objective this time around, but there is one thing I know for sure. The girls will learn from this and come back next year stronger than ever. As a good friend/colleague of mine always says and something I’ve learned to live by, “Fall down seven times, stand up eight, thats the way to live.” In life you will fail a lot, how you deal with failure tells you plenty about your character. Failure makes you stronger.
All the best,