I was a different professional soccer player every week growing up.   Visualizing myself scoring a goal in the EPL, trying to recreate the genius of my childhood idols.  Soccer will always be one of my great passions. I’ve dedicated much of my life to playing, supporting and coaching ‘The Beautiful Game.’

AVID Soccer Contest
2011 AVID Soccer Contest

In my younger years I would find myself studying the movement of elite players – What runs they make off the ball, how they press or drop deep.  I’d be at the stadium an hour before kick off so I could feel the atmosphere building and watch the  teams warm up. Always predicting the starting line up.

My passion as a player was largely driven by dreams. Personal success and satisfaction was the ultimate goal.  My motives as a coach are different. I want to see kids enjoying soccer. That is my desire. They should be learning and aspiring to reach the highest level that their ability, focus and opportunities will allow.

Soccer is such a vibrant sport that captivates a huge audience. I love the way it brings families together. It’s so inclusive and can be enjoyed by all.  The culture and carnival like atmosphere at many tournaments could be described as an art form and theatre.

I don’t believe that many sports can rival soccers pace and freedom. They instead often have too many rules and an over reliance on tactics. Thus losing a certain dynamism, energy and magic.

No other passion of mine can be enjoyed 24/7 on the street, back yard or college field. There is no need for expensive equipment, teams or referees. I was happiest when practicing soccer with my brother before, during and after school. My dad would join in too. I always wanted to make him proud of the way I played. I can vividly remember the first pair of boots he bought me – such an exciting moment!

Soccer will always play a powerful and emotional role in my life. It’s popularity and Universal appeal will continue to grow.  I will keep working hard to coach the next generation. This is the best way I can give something back to a sport that has provided me with so much.


Contest Rules

  • Entries must be a unique and original story between 200-500 words with at least one picture
  • Entries must be submitted electronically directly to AVID Soccer (Contest@avidsoccer.com)
  • Entries should describe why the nominee meets the qualifications (self nominations are encouraged)
  • There is no limit to the number of nominations, but each must be a unique and original story
  • Entries must be received between April 1, 2011 and May 31, 2011
  • Winners will be announced the week of June 21st
  • The contest is open to US Residents over the age of 18; Youth entries must be submitted by a parent or guardian
  • Employees and associates of AVID Soccer and their families are not eligible
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James has been coaching for over 10 years. He started his career with the Liverpool FC Youth Academy and coached them to a FA Youth Cup Final. James has now joined DMS 11 in Southern California and is a freelance writer for AVID Soccer.

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