Recently, I had the privilege of watching the 2002 FC Kansas City Comets Elite team win the Kansas State Cup. The game took place on a beautiful, summer evening at a packed-out Overland Park Soccer Complex Field 1. It was a thrill and an extremely proud moment to watch two quality clubs, TOCA and FC Kansas City, compete with passionate-yet reasonably tempered-parents, quality officiating, outstanding coaches, and young impressionable players.
The atmosphere, tone, and spirit of that competition was one that I wish all could experience. If we could make a template and reproduce those components at every match, at every level, we would all be better for it.
On that amazing evening in June, I witnessed hard work and team work by the boys. The boys had put in the time, doing the work and growing in the environment provided. I also saw hard work and team work by the coaches. Many of the boys on the stage getting medals were boys I had coached for several years. This past year, I handed them off to Coach Goran Hunjak, and he poured his heart and mind into these young men just as I had done. These boys were reaping a collaborative team staff approach of togetherness as they received their hardware.
I also witnessed on this evening hard work and team work by the club. I have been involved in club soccer for over 12 years. This game, this moment in time, was the reaping of a vision of quality club leadership, spawned from years of bumps and bruises, that worked diligently to create a culture of coaches all striving to work together humbly while supporting each other in the unified cause of building players and people of character. I furthermore saw hard work and team work by the parents. The more I am involved in youth sports, the more I realize that the family behind the athlete is a huge component of the athlete reaching his potential.
I would like to give a shout out for a 10 out of 10 performance by 2 special coaches, 2 striving teams, 2 thriving clubs, 2 sets of model fans, and don't forget-4 quality officials. Let's make this match environment an expectation and a habit for every match because that is the way it is supposed to be.