As I sit down to pen my first blog entry for the Foundation, I hear the lyrics of The Beatles’ hit “All You Need is Love” ringing in my ears. With it being Valentine’s Day, love is what I see all around, and it reminds me of my recent travels as a Soccer for Success Trainer. Last Fall, I was lucky enough to conduct trainings in Raleigh, NC, Brooklyn, NY, and Portland, OR. In the last month, I have worked with and learned from some amazing people at the Claudio Reyna Foundation in Brooklyn and Harlem (NY), the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta (GA), and various urban soccer program trailblazers at the NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis (IN).
I am struck by the passion, dedication, and love these coaches display towards the young people in their communities. These local leaders have reminded me, that regardless of background, a single person can have a positive, lasting impact upon the life of a child through the game of soccer. By assuming the role of mentor as well as coach, the opportunities for the healthy future of a child skyrocket. Thank you to all the coaches/mentors who have shown me that the Beatles were correct! I can’t wait to teach and learn from my next set of coaches/mentors at the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County (NJ) and the YMCA of Greater Dayton (OH). Watch out y’all, Coach Jim is fired up!