We are proud of you James. You are proof that hard work and the Believe in it® attitude pays off.
Below is a story about James growing up in Ireland as told by his dad in the form of an email to me. I think it gives great insight into James as a player but also to what the youth football system in Ireland is like. A lot of which sounds similar to what most players around the world go through.
Even though their grass is greener (the fields look so nice in the picture!) don't always think the grass is greener on the other side. Players all over the world struggle and fight with similar issues. Be like James and choose to react positive.
The words Andrew Jennings...
James (age 13) has been playing soccer at the highest league level since he started ‘competing’ as they did in Ireland at U8’s levels.
James was a September boy when the age group started in January, and while very quick and skillful, was often overlooked and pushed into the fringes of teams.
Having said that James showed great promise, so much so despite being ‘badly’ treated in Dublin he managed to get an open invitation from Hull City AFC to train with their Academy team whenever in Hull England. What was great about England is that the age group starts in September making James one of the oldest when he played, giving him the advantage of the’ age effect’
This season was no different many others, the team before ‘fell apart’ and James had to move on. This time into one of the big teams in Dublin, St. Francis FC.
He again he had to fight for his place on the team. Once again as the team needed to win games James was again pushed into the fringes of the team. To be fair to James while this was tearing me up inside he was handling it well, keeping his head down and working hard, very hard.
Some of the criticism of James was he wasn’t ‘physically and mentally strong enough’. To some extent I agreed with that but when I asked the coaches what they where going to do about it they had no answers. I wasn’t going to change James good nature by abusing him just to win matches. I appreciated his coaches very much but I needed to find help for James.
I did my research and I come across your web site and found your Online Soccer Academy video about being aggressive on youtube.
It was exactly what I was looking for James. Something James could understand and accept.
He certainly wasn’t going to go out there and hurt anyone. He watched it a few times this season.
Its been a slow turn around but it was the point where I saw James change as a player. Not only did he change his mindset to what I like to call ‘positive aggression’ but it helped that he grew ‘taller and stronger’ faster than those around him.
In the last two months he has just blown everyone away.
He is a regular starting eleven, moved into a forward position and regularly scores goals!