To My Little Brother Kosta,
I’m writing this letter to you because I sometimes wish I had an older brother to guide me with advice. As I get older, I realize that the skills and lessons we learn on the soccer field can transpire into our everyday lives. I’ve been playing soccer for 10 years and each time I step onto the field, I realize more and more, what an amazing game it is. It’s a game of passion, pride, tenacity, endurance and skill. It makes me proud to see that you’re following my footsteps and chose to be a defender. I hope that through my learning and mistakes, you’ll be even better than I will ever be.
There are so many things I’d love to write to you, but through my 10 years of playing, the most important thing I learned is to play with confidence. Don’t spend your time on the field, and in life, being afraid to make a mistake. I recall a time when one of my coaches gave me an opportunity to take a penalty shot. I was so nervous to miss and so afraid to make a mistake, that I turned down the opportunity. I still regret that to this day. I didn’t give myself a chance to succeed because of my fear of failing. Please learn from my mistake and take chances on and off the field because you never know how great you can be.
My next piece of advice is to always play composed. Be confident in your ability, because you’re a great defender. Believe in yourself. When you get the ball, don’t panic. Just keep your head up and look for the open man. I learned the importance of playing composed, this past year, with Coach Alejandro. I recall a game, during my U12 season, where I let my nerves get the best of me. The opposing team crossed the ball into our box. I panicked, tried to clear the ball right away and as a result, I miss hit the ball. The ball went right to the other team, and they scored. That’s a mistake that I hope you can learn from.
In addition, you are going to have your ups and downs, not only in soccer, but in life too. When you have those “downs”, you have to do your best to make them positive. Every mistake in life is proof that you’re trying. Mom and Dad always say, “It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them.” There will be roadblocks that will inhibit you from doing your best every day. Take those days of adversity as an opportunity to learn something.
I broke my wrist this past Fall. I was devastated that my freshman soccer season came to an end so quickly. But instead of being down and mad about it, I decided to make it into a positive experience. I used that time to make my legs stronger by doing squats and lunges at practice. I also used that time to focus more on my schoolwork and get better grades. So, in life, when something negative happens, try your best to turn it around, and make it positive. Play the game of soccer and the game of life with no regrets!
Usually, the way it goes is: the younger sibling “learns the ropes” from the older sibling, but Kosta, you have taught me to love life, to laugh at the little things, and to be a better person. I hope you know that I will always be there for you, on and off the field. I am blessed and proud to call you my brother. After all, who would I make fun of and joke around with all the time without you? I love you.