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What I would Tell My Younger Self

Thinking back on my coaching career recently and I am thankful for those who were around me. I started off coaching at my childhood club working in the rec program. I did this while working at a golf course. I then moved on to coaching travel soccer and created my first squad. I had a great opportunity to coach at a development company called Next Gen for several years before going out completely on my own. Over a decade of experience was presented to me. Not out of luck, but by the ability to want to learn.

I then had this dream of wanting to get all of my coaching licenses as quick as possible once I had a taste of what was out there. I wanted to be a professional coach and get to the top. Not knowing how much this coaching path was going to cost me financially. I wish I had understood a bit more about the game before jumping from license to license. The one thing that has been more important for me than the license itself has been the actual experience that I have gained from coaching at different levels and being in different environments. I had some PHENOMENAL coaches around me. Coaches that I wish I still worked with today in some capacity. I wish I could tell younger self to ask more questions to them. Spend more time watching them work.

More opportunities were brought to me when I was able to coach against international opposition and see how other countries operate. It has been an eye opener every single time I am able to. I grew up in the American system, so power and speed defined a good player when I played. Not knowing that I should be focused on the person before the player. I was fortunate enough to have some coaches who understood the game though. "Students of the game" is still one of my favorite phases that one of my coaches would say consistently. They helped me develop my technical ability and process how to solve problems well before my physical attributes were required. I lost a lot of that in college though. Where running became the main focus. I thought that that was the way the game had evolved. I was completely wrong. I wish that I could tell my younger self to look outside of the bubble that I was in. Go back to my influences that made my fall in love with the game in the first place. Take a look at my favorite club and how they are developing their players. Look back at how I developed as a player and put my own spin on it.

Me looking back over the years has brought me joy. It seriously does go by so quick. The experiences are priceless. I would tell myself to slow down and really enjoy being a number four or five in the coaching staff compared to trying to be a number one right from the start. Not that I shouldn't have aspirations to be a number one, but to understand that I am young and that I need to gain more experience in this game. I would thank my coaches a lot more and let them fully understand that I truly appreciate them.

I believe my younger self would be proud of what has been created over the years. My current self looks back and knows that things could have been completed a bit differently, but knows that there has been so much accomplished in such a short amount of time. I will forever be grateful for this path that I am on and fortunate for the opportunities that have been given to me.

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