Challenge can be fun

As a father, I enjoy seeing my kids play.  It is fun to watch them and it makes my passion come to life.

Last week for the first time in my life my son walked away disappointed after a game.  He said, “We stunk, Dad.  We will never win a game.”

I tried to comfort him.  I told him how he was able to get more shots off this game than the game before and how we were working really hard.  A player from the other team walked up to him after the game and told him how much respect he had for his team and him.

Let us break this down.  Claudio Lopez (International Argentinean player) once told me, “when a team is going thru a bad stretch you just have to work harder.”

A good working plan can help your players improve.  Go home and work hard.  Take advantage of the things that MOTI SPORTS offers.

Create your own work plan.  Work on the skills and see your players become successful.   

Be Proud Of What Your Child Accomplishes

As a professional soccer game announcer and analyst, I was honored to be asked to announce a Pre-Olympic game.  With their National Anthems playing and me reading the last names on their shirts, here were all these guys from Central America living the dream.  Then I thought “If my child were on the field how proud I would feel.”

These were U-20 players representing their country and dreaming of playing in the Olympics.  Their dreams came true because of the support of their parents.

Jose Luis  Burciaga Jr., who played in the MLS with the Wizards and Colorado Rapids, mention to me once “When I think of all the time and money that my dad spent in tournaments, camps and such all I can think of is how lucky I was to have a father like him”.

The success of your child is in your hands.  It can be by your time spent with them or by equipping them with the tools that will make them better, like the MOTI Sports App. With it players can work on their skills anywhere, including your backyard.  

Invest in your child.  Celebrate their victories and be proud of their accomplishments.  In this 2020 make it a personal goal of yours to make your child a better player.  

Hard work pays off

Wow!   December is here and the 2019 year is gone.  I want to thank each one of you for taking the time to read this column.

Every team goes through a bad stretch, when the results just don’t come.  The team plays well, they execute, but the goals just don’t come.

This takes me to 2008 when I Met Claudio “Piojo” Lopez.  Back than Club America (from the Mexican soccer league) was going thru a bad moment.  Claudio played for Club America, so I asked how he felt about the team.  He said something that stuck with me forever, “we need to just work hard.”

 Claudio played for Valencia, Lazio and Club America before he landed in the MLS.  He won Championships with every team he played.  He got there by working hard.  He continued “my first 6 months didn’t go well with Club America, but every day we would show up to practice and work harder.  Eventually we won a championship.”

When a team is in a losing streak, that is when you should feel more motivated to work hard.  Take advantage of those moments to make practice more entertaining, try new things and of course to have fun!  After all you’ve  got nothing to lose.  Use the tools that Moti is giving you and remember hard work takes you places.

When your family shows support, nothing else matters.

I was never a talented kid, but I loved to play soccer. There was no game where I did not play with passion (I still do). However, there was no game I played harder or better than when my parents were there watching me!

My dad was a hard worker and my mother wasn’t a fan of sports, but I still remember whenever they showed up to my games how excited and special I felt. Once my dad said “you might not be a professional, but I am proud of your effort in every game.”

When I became a father, I saw things from the other side. My kids wanted to play soccer, but not because they liked the game. It was because they wanted my attention and my time. My 5 year old was learning how to pass using the inside of his foot. No one on the team knew how to do it but my son. I remember how the coach congratulated him. He replied very proudly “my dad taught me how to do it.”

Different feeling, same meaning. I look back now and really think that is what MOTI does for a parent/child relationship. It helps create moments that will last forever. Don’t think of the MOTI software as a tool only to became better, think of it as something that can help you create a bond that will last forever.

Running The Extra Mile

While I was broadcasting the games of the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting KC) I had a chance to meet Herculez Gomez.  Herculez played for the United States 2010 World Cup Team and was very successful in the MLS and in the Mexican Soccer League.  Herculez is a Mexican-American born in Oxnard, California.  He grew up playing recreational soccer in the Hispanic leagues in Las Vegas.  Since he was Hispanic I had the privilege to interview him many times.  The more I interview him the more I got to respect him.

He would constantly stay after practice trying free kicks and would be last one to leave.  I remember when the 2009 season finished, Herculez was told by the Wizards that he may or may not be called back for the following season.  The call back never came, so Herculez went on to open tryouts with a team that was at the bottom of the league table in the Mexican League, Puebla FC.  Herculez made the team and become a top scorer in the Mexican League.  This did not surprise me.  I knew how hard he worked.  This showed me that hard work can beat talent.

Moti Sports has created a tool that will do that “extra” work a lot easier.  It is a beautiful tool that can show you in 3D how to make the right moves.  If you feel like your child doesn’t have the talent, keep encouraging them to keep working, to keep trying.  Give them the tools and you will see how your child will succeed.  Maybe they might not get to play in a World Cup, but they will get to apply that in other fields and became successful.  

Playing in the backyard

A bit of nostalgia hit me the other day as a family member and I were going through some old photos.  We stumbled across a picture that sent me back to my youth.  We use to play soccer in the backyard.  The clothes line my mom would use to dry our cloths and a tree formed the perfect goal.  I would practice my free kicks and, using a makeshift wall, would make great passes to set me up for my perfect shots and goals!

Today it is easy for the kids to play FIFA on their devices but it will never compare to spending hours playing in the backyard, taking shots, juggling, and so on.

I know it was just a game I would play at home, but I remember how taking shots in my backyard helped me become a great shooter.  I can also recall the first free kick I took while playing organized soccer in the USA. 

Times have changed and technology has take over many things but, hey, lets use it in the best way possible.  MOTI Sports has created a great tool.  Going over the skills and practicing them in the backyard in your free time will make you a better soccer player and will create moments that will last forever.

World Cup Champion’s advise to kids and parents

I hope everyone is having an awesome time in the summer and enjoying the weather. I recently had the opportunity to interview the world cup champion, Lothar Matthäus. During the interview, we talked a bit about his carrier. I ask him what advice will you give to the kids and parents that want to play in five world cups and win at least one.

According to Lothar (we are buddies now so I can call him by his first name), not forcing the kids to play is a must. It is important to let the kids be kids and enjoy their game. He also mentioned to me how important it is to start young. He started playing since he was three years old, but he mentioned something that gained my admiration. “I always played to win, never for the money”. Ladies and gentlemen that is what I want to talk about today, “playing for that feeling of winning”.

When our kids are playing is important that we teach them about that “feeling” of winning a soccer match, not just playing to score goals and be popular among friends. I understand with today’s marketing messages, it is easy for kids to dream about money and cars. But, the real reason we play is to have fun and enjoy that “feeling” of winning or scoring a goal or simply making a good move on an opponent. Those are “feelings” that hard to express in words but are personly satisfying. Being nervous before game day or traveling to a tournament, is natural. It is what makes us prepare ourselves mentally for what comes next., It helps is to be better and to achieve our goals, Because, at the end of the day, whether it is the world cup or a recreational league game, that “feeling” is the same.    

Street Games in the Neighborhood

A big part of my soccer traditions are related to rivalry, we all have heard of Milan vs. Inter or Manchester City and Manchester United, Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, etc.

However in my childhood, there was a big Rivalry, the kids from my Neighborhood will constantly play versus a neighborhood nearby, not only for the pride but also for the awesome privilege of drinking a soda, having said that let me explain, the losing team would have to buy the winning team sodas.

The field was the street which means the game had to stop every time a car would drive by, the goal was made with two rocks and very often no matter what the score was the game was decided by a golden goal.

When  I came to the US I learned to play in a organized way, I realized how lucky I was to shoot to a real Goal with nets, I played in a field with grass and a uniform (in Mexico we used to play shirts vs. shirtless).

When MOTI Sports showed me their App and how much it helps to improve the skills,  I learned that if I had this growing up in Mexico my soccer Skills would have gotten a lot better, I had the passion to beat rivals. And also I am sure I would have drunk a lot of soda.

Until the next time