Brutal Honesty – D92

17 Sep

I mentioned on Day 89 that I told someone about my little goal and how nerve-wracking it was.  What I failed to mention was that the person I told was a soccer coach who I am thinking about hiring to help me prepare for the tryouts in April.

Here is the response I received:

Thanks for talking to me about training after class the other day. I have thought about this and wanted to run some ideas past you.

Understand that I was a very late bloomer, so I think it can be done. I did not even start for my team in high school and by the time I was 23 I was playing with a very strong US professional team who later that year won the national championship, so I know that post 18 years of age players can improve very significantly. One of the reasons I was able to improve so dramatically was because I was coaching for a living and teaching soccer skills 5 days a week, and then playing indoor soccer 5-7 days a week.

So I am saying there may be a chance for you!

First of all, I want to be brutally honest about your situation. There is no reason to sugar coat anything because that will not help you make a professional team. Some of this may hurt, but know it is meant to help you…

You will be fighting an uphill battle. You will going against younger players who are in much better shape than you are in as of right now, and they will likely be very skillful. Most of the competitive high school players I run across who come to our classes are way ahead of you when it comes to their ability to complete all of the skills in our class. Of course, they are usually very dedicated players like you.

Good news/bad news:

My wife, who has never played soccer before a year ago when she began coming to our classes, performs many of the exercises better than you do, with better rhythm and coordination. Having said that, you are very likely a much better soccer player than she is, because you are a better athlete and know how to play. She is terrified to even play in a game, and she still cannot really figure out how to pass the ball very well.

The good news about that is that if SHE can improve from nothing to pretty darn good at 46 years of age, then you may be able to improve leaps and bounds over the next 4-6 months.

Other considerations:

I have no idea how you compare right now as of flat-out speed against other women players at this level. At the top-level if you do not meet the minimum flat-out speed requirement you may be cut just because of that. When I played pro (briefly) I was in the middle as far as speed went on the team I played for, and I was faster than anyone I knew who couldn’t play professionally!

Do you know any of the players on the team or who may be trying out? That would be good to know.

If you feel you are at the pro level at speed of play/speed of thought, AND will be able to keep up (after trimming down by late winter), AND you are willing to work very hard at your foot skills, you might be a contender!

After all of that, if you are still interested and not crying in the fetal position somewhere ;), I have some ideas for you:

1-As often as is necessary and possible hire me for a private lesson. Once a month? Every other week? You tell me. The class will be very intense and focused completely on you, with “assignments” to work on in between classes. I will also come out and watch you play to see what we are dealing with and give you some feedback.

2-Keep coming to class, and if you can get to class on Fridays that would be a good investment of time for you.

3-To save money, consider getting a group of girls together who want to train hard in a class customized for you and them. $80 split 4 ways is better than $75 split 1 way, and it could give us an opportunity to work on more tactical stuff. You could “sell” it to a few of your teammates as a way to improve their fitness, their soccer skills and train specifically for soccer.

4-I MIGHT be able to help you with a few other women for a lunchtime class somewhere closer to where you live. I have at least 2 ladies I know of you would likely be up for it, and maybe we could add a lunchtime class out south. Do you work out south? If not they are stay at home moms who could travel closer to you and would love for me to add a class.

5-Last, we do have a group of ladies we are talking to in the Aurora area who may want us to put a class together for them. I won’t hold my breath, because if everyone who said they wanted to do that followed through we would have a dozen classes running every week.

The good news is that I was not curled up in the fetal position crying over his honesty.  I realize that this is going to be a HUGE challenge and one that I most likely will not succeed at.

But I wonder, oh blog reader of the great digital expanse, how the letter comes across to you?

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