Featured in PCA Connector – My Youth Sports Story: Play for the Love of It by Gloria Averbuch

What’s more satisfying, and more beautiful, than watching our children “get it?” The ‘it’ is the deep and lasting understanding of why they play sports and what those sports can ultimately give them.

I got to experience that when my daughter Yael — now 24 years old and playing for the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team and the Western NY Flash of Women’s Professional Soccer — gave a speech to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Yael’s speech has made the rounds on the Internet (and, I am proud to report, has just been requested to be reprinted in an educational college textbook). Here is a paragraph from that speech:

As I learned the night of the 2008 national championship, if everything that you do, day in and day out, is solely building for a single moment — what becomes of it all when that moment has passed? It is this perspective that I have gained during the past year, and which I hope to carry with me throughout my life: Ideally, what we do in each moment should have value in and of itself. We should train just for the sake of training, play just for the sake of playing, and live just for the sake of living.*

Yael’s message underlies everything positive that parents and coaches hope to give their athletes:

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