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Stay focused on developing your passion! Your……..not our!



Many times I’ve underlined that I’m a movie lover. Some movies emphasize the aspect of following our passion, not matter what!

One of them is “Billy Elliot“.

This is the story of a kid who lives in an English region where everything revolved around working in the mines. A very hard life. This boy is forced by his dad to follow his dad’s passion and the passion of his grandpa……………being a boxer.

So, he got boxing lessons. But, in doing that, he fell in love with………………..something that happens in the same gym in which he trains to become a boxer, and that is……………………..ballet! Not exactly what is considered a great choice of an activity for a man in that region!

So, repeating the official words from the back of the DVD cover: Billy Elliot is the heartwarming story of a young boy from a working-class family who discovers a passion that will change his life forever.

An eleven-year-old miner’s son is on his way to boxing lessons when stumbled upon a ballet class. Billy secretly joins the class, knowing that his blue-collar family would never understand. Under the guidance of his Teacher Mrs. Wilkinson, the boy’s raw talent takes flight. But when his father discovers his son’s ambition, Billy must fight for his dreams and his destiny.

Billy did everything to become a dancer, and he deeply knows that he could become a good one, even the best of them. Naturally, this passion made him collide with the wishes of his dad, but nothing could stop him and his ballet teacher from trying to fulfill his dream.

In doing my youth soccer lessons, clinics and practices (even if I’ve encountered a few great youth players, boys and girls, and I’m sure that they will have a luminous soccer career) often I see the absence of this inner fire that is the only thing that permits us to become something, even if not necessarily the best. But, fortunately, I constantly see this fire, at my adult classes when people 25- 30 years old, who want to learn what no one taught them when they were young, and they do great, like this student that wrote to me recently:

Morning Gianni.... had to tell you about this. At my coed outdoor 7v7 game last night I scored 2 goals and had an assist in a 5-2 victory. I narrowly missed scoring and assisting a couple more on top of that. I usually play more of a defensive role but told the team I wanted to play up front this week since I've been working with you on shooting and skills, etc. Well it certainly paid off!!!

At half-time I could hear the other team talking about how they needed to watch out for me and after the game everyone on my team was saying how well I played. Not only that but our team seemed to rise to the occasion and passed with incredible vision and passion.

Your coaching is certainly having an effect my friend!! The best part is that I really feel like there is so much more to learn and that I've just begun to start playing football the right way! Thanks for sharing your insights with me!!!! Can't wait until next Tuesday.

But this is an adult.

Maybe these kids like to do something else, something in which they know that they could be really good at. So, let’s talk to our kids, listen to them, and let’s permit them to fulfill their dreams that, not necessarily our dreams or the ones of their friends.

The simple fact that because some of their friends or school-mates play soccer, basketball, football and baseball, it doesn’t mean that they have to do it too!

They could be great singers, instrument players, dancers, actors, writers, painters, or……….chess players and they could even become World Champion by playing chess!

The movie, in a few passages, is a ’little’ strong in the language and in some situations of a everyday life in a place that is not exactly……………Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow or Seacliff so, if you decide to permit your boys and girls to see it, your supervision will be great.

If you do it, you will give them a clear example of what it means to follow a passion, to follow an inner calling that maybe is not completely developed yet but is there and to take a chance of doing something in which they could be good at. This movie is great for awakening that desire that could be there, and is still just sleeping in them!

I think that the new generations need to see what, even at an early age, could be achieved by challenging themselves and not just staying in their comfort zone, in which everything is already codified by us adults.

So, they will go to schools, go to ‘soft’ practices, do their homework, play video games, have play-dates that we set for them a week in advance, go to see the usual nonsense movies or listen the nonsense songs that talk about nothing, and so on.

It’s just a thought that comes to me every time when I see “Billy Elliot“. I really hope that you’ll see this movie with your sons and daughters, and try to not care too much if some bad words are used here and there, (naturally reminding them that this is ABSOLUTELY NOT the correct way to talk!) but notice the great message and the poetry that pushed Billy to follow his passion in becoming one of the best dancers ever.

What really impressed me was the correct attitude. Surely teachers are fundamental in learning anything; but, after, we still must do our ‘home work’ and study. It is only up to us to repeat, repeat and repeat until the movements become mechanically correct, no matter what they are. They could be playing the piano, the guitar or playing soccer!

If in the free time we don’t do these activities, only for the pleasure to do it, independently of practices or lessons, this will be a clear sign that we are doing something in which we are not really interested and probably, our families have just thrown away their money!

I even liked very much the fact that, when his dancing teacher asked him to bring to the gym the few things that he really like, to find the inspirations for creating the choreography for his audition, he brought 3 things: a ‘boogie’ tape, a letter from his mom who passed away when he was younger (a letter he could read when he turned 18) and………………………….a soccer ball!

How many times have I said to my youth and adult students that handling the ball in an exercise (outside-inside-outside-inside) is like dancing… Remember that? So, keep dancing like Billy Elliot, and you can go to the top like him, in soccer, or wherever YOUR life will bring you!

Your life………………….not our!

Coach Gianni

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Posted on 30 Nov 2007 by coachgianni
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