‘This is the first time I actually enjoyed playing soccer’

Heard a great compliment from one of my seniors last fall. He’d recently transferred from our school to another, so this was his first year on our soccer team. The coach of his previous team is well-known for yelling and swearing every fifth word. The kid said to me, “Thanks for a great season, coach. This is the first time I actually enjoyed playing soccer.”

It was very gratifying to hear. Definitely made me feel like I was doing something right. He was a first-team league all-star too, which further illustrates that enjoying a sport and being successful at it are not mutually exclusive, as some coaches seem to think.

On the other hand, it’s kind of sad that an awesome kid like him could play soccer his whole life but have to wait until he’s 17 years old to finally enjoy it. It’s amazing he didn’t quit the sport years ago.

Many other kids quit for exactly that reason.

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