Each year as spring rolls in there is a welcomed sense of change, a signal of growth. This spring, I am fully embracing that change and growth – certainly as I reflect on my last year.
So much has changed in the last 12 months, and I remember when it all started. A year ago, I decided to step out of my comfort zone. I would travel down to Phoenix and visit Altis for their Apprentice Coach Program (ACP), spending 10 days immersed in a world class learning and training environment.
It was a fabulous experience that allowed me to network and learn from some of the best in the business, while leading my own learning through observation and interaction amongst coaches, therapists, and athletes in their daily training environment.
Since travelling to Phoenix last spring, there has been a lot of change in my life – both personal and professional. I honestly believe that I’ve grown more as a coach in this past year than the first 5 years. That sounds crazy, I know – but it’s true!
To put it things in perspective, I began writing this blog in conclusion of my first year as a collegiate S&C coach serving 8 teams (in varying capacities), compared to zero at the same time last year.
Things quickly picked up when I got back from Phoenix. Within a few weeks, I secured my first team, working with youth soccer players (14-18) at Winstars Soccer Academy. A few months later, I would open my garage gym doors for the second summer, but this time I would be training athletes. Athletes who were chasing Olympic dreams, scholarships, and preparing for their first college preseason.
The smell of spring brings it all back to me.
By the end of summer, I was gearing up for an assistant S&C role at Seneca College with Jason Melhado, who reached out to me while I was travelling in Indiana with the Winstars visiting and playing colleges on our summer tour. I felt as though things were falling into place.
Fast forward into the new year, Jason would leave Seneca, thrusting me into the Head S&C role for the second semester. With the help of my colleague and good friend Vince Lucente, the second semester went on smoothly – albeit a steep learning curve. With every failure, an opportunity to learn. With every success, a brick laid in the foundation of our S&C program.
As the competition season with Seneca came to a close at the end of March, I found myself reflecting on the previous 12 months – it inspired me to begin writing this post. I was overcome by joy after an intense month of competition, training, and celebrating achievements with the teams and athletes I had been coaching at both Seneca and Winstars Soccer Academy over the last year.
Ironically, around the same time, I would be celebrating a personal victory – being accepted to the Masters of Kinesiology program at the University of British Columbia (UBC). I would later step down from my role at Seneca in April, and open the garage doors for the third year in May.
Spring is now in full bloom. Change is evident and growth is imminent.
I’m grateful for the blessings I’ve received this year and everyone who played a part.
Circling back to last year, it all started with my willingness to learn and step out of my comfort zone by travelling down to Phoenix to visit the coaches at Altis.
Today, I remain inspired with a willingness to learn. This year it will bring me across the country to Vancouver where I will continue my education at UBC.
Question: What has changed in your life in the past year? Can you work back to the moment that sparked it all? Let me know in the comments below!