In third grade I met my new coach, Philip Gyau. That season, Coach Philip not only became my coach, he quickly became a mentor – someone I wanted to emulate in all aspects of life. Coach Philip taught me how to dribble with my right foot and he taught me how to be a better defender, but more importantly, he believed in my abilities and encouraged me to grow as an athlete and as an individual.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but Coach Philip had a plan. Every practice, every wind sprint, and every fitness exercise (no matter how grueling) was designed not just to make me and my teammates better players, but to teach us first-hand that success in life requires hard work, perseverance, and dedication. These are the lessons I have carried from the soccer field into the classroom, and onward into all aspects of my life. I can honestly say that without Coach Philip and his guidance, I would not be where I am today.
Now, as a coach of my own team of young players, I find myself passing on his lessons. I stress the importance of showing up to practice on time and staying hydrated on a hot day – lessons that now seem ingrained but once had to be learned.
Every young boy and girl deserves a mentor they can look up to. Every young athlete deserves a Coach Philip. A coach can change a child’s life, but only if given the opportunity. That’s why we’re so excited to be providing Soccer for Success programming to over 30,000 children this season. In 32 cities across the nation, thousands of young players have their very own Coach Philip.
Who is your Coach Philip?