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It's Not a Sprint, But a Marathon...

10/03/2019, 4:15pm EDT
By FW United

Fort Wayne United Coaching Staff,

As my son, Alex, prepares to sign his National Letter of Intent and receive a 4 year, full tuition offer to play soccer at Siena Heights University, I wanted to reach out and say “thank you” from the bottom of my heart. Please hear me when I say that my son’s life was truly changed through his association with Fort Wayne United FC.

Recently we reminisced about Alex’s early days starting soccer with FWU. It was humbling to realize that Alex was nowhere near what I had thought and expected when he joined United at U11. It took several very honest conversations with Club Directors to understand and learn to trust the process. This allowed Alex to engage in the environment and educational setting that United offered for HIM, not for me. Then the growth started.

I remember Alex coming home devastated when he didn’t make the Academy level team and some of his friends did. Trusting in the process, I encouraged Alex to fight for it if he wanted it; to make up the gap in his technical ability through more touches and more playing in general. Another couple of years came and went, but still he didn’t make the Academy team. But instead of rescuing him, we encouraged Alex to keep fighting and asked him, “What is it that YOU want?”

Alex was athletic, getting bigger and faster, but was still undisciplined. The Fort Wayne United DOC suggested we find ways to teach him perseverance at home through everyday tasks. He began to understand it was a matter of putting his name on it and owning it.  A great lesson in soccer AND life!

The FWU soccer trip to Italy was empowering for Alex as he embraced the moment. It was now clear he had made a personal commitment to bring his ALL every time and fight hard in a way that he had not done before. He had become more confident in himself technically and more willing to take risks on the field. Alex had a pool player position for 2 years and it gave him a taste of the higher level, while making him earn a permanent spot. This was difficult. But, we all embraced his personal development and trusted that there was a plan in place instead of getting caught up in “who is on which team”. This was very humbling for all of us… but very necessary for Alex to get where he is today!

Now my son stands ready to sign a National Letter of Intent and attend a private university as a collegiate athlete. Alex has TRULY fallen in love with soccer because of your environment, your commitment to a process, and your commitment to his personal development. He is a different young man because of all of you and I will never be able to properly communicate how much my wife and I appreciate Fort Wayne United FC.

From the bottom of our hearts … thank you!

Robert and Tracia Gregory

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