I am getting psyched. Three years ago I was given a ticket to a Roar game. Some deep cultural switch in my part of the collective unconscious was turned back on. I went out and kicked a ball with my son. I started connecting with the ball in ways that I had forgotten that I knew how to do. I started searching for more information, started reading my old football books, rang my dad and asked him a few questions about what it used to be like...
Got my son into the sport and watched his games. Realised I knew a bit about why they were getting beaten and it wasn't just because they weren't as skilled as the other team. I could see what needed to be done.
I went to more Roar games. Listened to people around me who knew everything and wondered how they learned that. Got to know the players names, the refs... the moves, started reading the game. Started going to watch some 'open' training sessions and trial matches. Got season tickets in season two, my son got to be a ball boy. Started to Started going to pubs to watch the away games. Moved up from a Roar tee shirt to the real thing. I was getting hooked. Started to read peoples' bogs on the games and tentatively provided my views.
Was given Foxtel. Watched all four games every week. Recorded the Roar's home games and re-watched them on TV when I got home from the match - it is amazing how different the experience is live v TV - each viewpoint has its pluses. Got a blog and started to say a few things.
Got to know all the A-League players names - their strengthens and weaknesses. Got to meet the Roar players and to know the talkative ones. This was getting serious. Realised just how much you could get to learn about football.
Went and got my junior licence - which nearly melted me under the Queensland sun. Read more, learnt more. Started coaching and realised that knowing what needed to done and persuading young people to do it were two things. Let them do their thing. Tightened the reins as they got to know me.
Started seeing football as a way to learn life's lessons rather than an end in itself. Looked for ways to pass these onto the team. Learnt that parents also fell into this category. Training day started to become more purposeful. Saturday the best day of the week no matter what the result.....
Realised it is just a game. But a good one.