Influences can be an interesting thing. They can be a mixture drawn from many different points of your life, with different degrees of importance and different points of impact. As I’ve watched my daughters develop as soccer players over the past decade, from pre-K to high school, it has been interesting to chart their progress and consider their influences along the way.
While I’d like to think I helped to influence them in some small way, especially when I coached them, my contribution (along with my wife’s) probably was more in the way of encouragement and the occasional well-timed push. In the early days, there definitely were times when they didn’t want to practice or play, so a little nudge was necessary. Even now, confidence can wane, so I often act as a hype man, albeit one not afraid to point out mistakes (nicely).