I am not a soccer or football pro.
I have never attended a pro game.
I have never met a pro soccer player from Brazil or Spain.
But I love to watch soccer or football as it`s called in most of the world.
Have, in fact, played University ball as a mid. Not too bad.
My girl was born 17 years ago and my wife and I enrolled her into soccer at 4. Of course I coached with many good friends.
I remember those swarm of bees running after the ball, just focused on kicking the ball.
Every week we had a practise and a game. An official game with a referee and outfits to boot.
We were in love with her and the game gave us the opportunity to have fun with friends and family.
Big, big crowds we had to turn people away ;-) !
When I was a teenager, I played soccer one-on-one with a friend, now I play soccer with my girl.
Today she plays U16 and she outruns me and outshoots me. I am growing old you know. She has an unfair advantage.
I told her to find a role model. I recommended Marta Vieira da Silva from Brazil. Marta for those who know her. We watched videos of her.
Amazing player !
I picked her because she is a great role model for her and a skillful player probably the best girl player in the world. I told her to watch how she moves her legs, how she handles the ball, how she deeks other players and how she passes the ball.
To watch how she handles adversity, failure and success and emulate her behavior.
My daughter learned well and won 5 championships throughout her young career.
Last year, she was mid D and a pillar on defence.
Most important, she had fun, enjoyed her friends and the process. We walked, biked and drove to practices and games.
Soon it will be the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Millions even billions of people will watch games live and on TV of the most played game in the world.
As you watch, the best of the best, Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and others keep a close eye on their skills, their mental preparation, their momentum, their discipline, their emotions, their team play and their determination.
To improve, choose a model or two.
I highlight many of the mental strategies they use to learn the game in an eBook, Mental Training for Winning, I wrote.
Over the years I have taught my daughter these skills and she uses them in her dance and her school work.
She`s retired now from soccer.
It`s all a journey and a process, a grand experiment in learning the qualities of being human.
During that time, she`s learned how to share her math skills with new immigrants from Haiti. She does science team projects with Chinese and Japanese girls. And she scores well at school.
I am so proud of her.
I believe that the skills she learned had a positive impact on her life.
I hope I was her best role model.