The sun is going down, but it doesn’t prevent Alec from kicking the ball. Every weekday, it is the same scenario. School in the in morning, followed by soccer immediately after his homework is done. On the weekends, it is soccer all day with the occasional break for food. Sometimes, he will even bring his iPad outside, watch tutorials, and then go practice what he just watched. Even after his soccer games, he will come home and continue practicing.
When asked what his goals were, Alec responded by saying he wanted to be a better dribbler, passer, shooter, and teammate. Essentially, he wants to be a complete player able to contribute to the success of his team. Well, if that is the case there is only one solution.
Octavius Augustus said, “Practice is the master of all things.” I can’t count how many times I have said this to him in his nine years of life. And yet, I am still amazed by his dedication. He has found something he loves that he wants to get better at. Therefore, he practices at every opportunity he gets. If this is the monster I have created, then I am one proud monster papa.
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.Henry David Thoreau
No doubt, Alec would love to be a great soccer player. I hope he does as it would be the fruit of his labor. But just because he works hard at something, it doesn’t mean he will always get the rewards he hopes for. Such is the nature of life! The rewards are nice, yet there is something greater. What does he become by going through the process?
There is nothing like the feeling of achieving a goal, especially if it is challenging. We always seem to have goals. However as soon as we achieve them, we often move directly on to the next goal, sometimes without even a pause. But every time we cross that milestone, we begin the journey as someone with more knowledge and wisdom, one that is battle-tested and experienced. We become something greater through the process of striving toward hard things.
Alec is developing skills beyond the soccer field. He is learning what it means to be both a leader and a follower. As the players move upon the field like pieces on a chess board, he is learning tactics and on-the-spot adjustments. He is developing quicker reaction times and improving his decision-making skills. He is developing his mind, heart, and body. He is becoming something new that he will be able to take with him into any new endeavor he chooses to pursue.