Emerson once acknowledged, “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”
As every parent ultimately realizes, we get only one chance to raise our children. A brief moment in time to instill discipline, confidence and self-respect, while also teaching them to be a successful part of something larger than self.
I played baseball, football, basketball and track as a boy. As a parent I actually coached forty youth soccer teams and was a high school referee for years. Surrounded by many more critics than volunteers, we continued our important work. Consequently, nearly 500 young boys and girls learned a little something about Soccer, and hopefully a little more about life.
Credit has long been given to the English for inventing Football, the game we Americans call Soccer. But, the earliest documented mention of a soccer-like game is more than 2000 years old. Ancient Chinese records indicate a game of “Tsu Chu” was played as part of the Emperor’s annual birthday celebration from 255 B.C. through 206 B.C.
Variations of this demanding game were regularly used to train soldiers for combat, gifting them with unmatchable endurance. The sport remained a popular activity for the remaining 400 years of the Han Dynasty.
Indeed, the general rules of Soccer the world recognizes today were legislated in Great Britain in 1863. Historic hair-splitting aside, this is a story of an ancient game’s influence on yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Over the past 25 years, Soccer has become King among youth sports in many American communities. The comparatively low cost to participate, as well as in many places it is offered year round, has attracted millions of boys and girls to join leagues large and small. As a result, more kids now play Soccer in the United States than any other organized sport.
Preparation and perseverance are required in life whether you are five or seventy five, as many of life’s personally defining events inevitably appear by the middle of the second half of any competitive match.
Moreover, Soccer teams are not simply a bunch of kids that get together once a week to play a game. They are also parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors that line the pitch an excellent volunteer painted to celebrate their children’s lives.
There are no timeouts in Soccer because there are none in life. Coaches plead their cases in referee courts and the players learn early on that life does not always seem fair, but is superior to the alternative. Obstacles are navigated by good decisions and understanding no one accomplishes anything meaningful alone.
Realizing the basic certainties of mankind have changed little over the past 2000 years, affirms soccer and life still have much in common. Because of the selfless efforts of volunteer coaches and parents, young people have an opportunity to exercise mind, body and spirit. Soccer has long taught its participants that goals are not achieved by words, action is required!
Celebrate August by embracing the fall seasons. “Be Somebody… Be a Coach!”
Henry Piarrot is a World Ventures franchisee near Nashville, TN. Please send all story recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org