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A rewarding letter


Gianni,

After tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep, I went on my computer to check emails. I received your email... then I went to your site.
Wow. I've been playing for 30 years plus, in my 3rd year of coaching (2nd year Under 8 - EDYSL) and I just want you to know how much I appreciate your approach. I learned much from just reviewing your site, and I'll share a few items with my team. I strongly agree about limiting the number of matches kids play - with some league teams it's become a year-round sport and a great recipe for total burn-out.
Unlike you, I didn't begin my playing until I was 16, but thanks to a dedicated coach who had faith in me, I was part of a championship team in my senior year in high school as a defender, and then became a top small college goalkeeper - but my real training came from a semi-pro team of Europeans (from 6 countries) back in the mid-1970s in New Jersey who took me under their wing and truly taught me the game, and then elevated my game to a whole new level. That's why I can appreciate your approach so well - it's very familiar to me. At age 50, I will play this fall in a rec league as the oldest player on the team and loving every minute, still in goal.
And my joy also comes now from coaching and watching my son play - he has talent I only wish I had, he is "a natural" and in all my years of playing, I've not seen a kid this young (7 1/2) with such skills and instincts. John Michael says he wants to be a pro. And he knows he could be. So I am very cautious to protect his development, and I will not allow him to play year round but he is pushing me to let him play comp next year. That's another reason your site made such a strong impact. Bravo, Gianni, for a wonderful website. Your love of the game shows through very clearly.
I'm glad I got out of bed to check my mail. We'll meet one day, I'm sure.

With much respect,

Mike Ketchel
Discovery Bay
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Posted on 29 Jul 2005 by coachgianni
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