You can’t force love. It’s there or it isn’t.
When I started out on my mission, I wanted to promote my passion of freestyle soccer to those around me. I planned everything out, but to be completely honest, I was skeptical from the start. And I was right to be. In a culture where soccer is a secondary sport, it is really hard to garner interest in those who have never extensively before to take on freestyle soccer, which essentially requires a lot more time commitment than actual soccer. Even in Southern California, the hotbed of US soccer, many spurn soccer as a “wussy” sport that doesn’t hold a candle to traditional American sports like football, basketball, baseball, or hockey. While I strongly disagree to this point, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and as the old proverb goes, you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Nevertheless, I carried on.
I created a website specifically for this project and filmed, edited, and uploaded videos onto YouTube and then embedded them onto the website. Needless to say, I enjoyed the process very much, even though I did not get much in return: twenty-odd views on my YouTube videos. The silver lining was several people in my classes actually saw the video and started making jokes about it to me. This may not be very encouraging to some, but to me it meant that they viewed through the video and remembered enough of it to be able to make fun of it. Any publicity is good publicity.
After school, I always carried around a tennis ball in case anyone wanted to juggle. Juggling a tennis ball is immensely harder than juggling a soccer ball, but if a person does not give up with the tennis ball, then there is enough interest to continue with a soccer ball. Also, it is beneficial for anyone because juggling tennis balls enhances your foot-eye coordination a lot more than you would expect. Since the ball is quite small, it requires intense concentration to even make decent contact with the ball, let alone keep it up in the air.
I will definitely continue to make these types of videos as I greatly enjoy it. I used to do a collab YouTube channel with a college friend in which we take and record free kicks, but it has been inactive for a while as he can’t make the time out of his studies anymore. This website and the video series will continue in the spirit of that YouTube channel.
And I will continue to carry tennis balls around in case anyone wants to play.