Leopoldo Lares (Interpol) Welcomes the Opportunity to Become a Soccer Coach

Leopoldo Lares (Interpol) had always loved to play soccer. He had known at an early age that his life would revolve around it, and he had not listened to anyone who attempted to make him believe differently. His dream indeed came true not just because of fate but also because of hard work. Throughout his childhood, Lares worked hard to improve his skills in soccer, and this eventually allowed him to play professionally. When it was time to retire, Lares didn’t see it as a way of having to say goodbye to his favorite sport. Instead, he used it as an opportunity to switch careers, this time working as a soccer coach for children.

Playing soccer is extremely different from coaching soccer, says Leopoldo Lares (Interpol), and especially when one is coaching kids. It is even more frustrating but rewarding as well at the same time, when one has to teach soccer for the first time to young children. He firmly believes, however, that coaching kids soccer is a lot easier than coaching adults. Kids are motivated purely by their passion or their love for the game. True enough, from time to time that passion is tinged with a fierce sense of competitiveness but that is only normal. It just makes games all the more fun, says Lares. It is different, however, when one has to coach adults. No matter how much they love the game, they will never be as purely motivated as they had been as children. This is mostly due to the fact that as adults, they need to play also for money – and sometimes, that can be more of a distraction than anything else.

Leopoldo Lares (Interpol) took to coaching children’s soccer teams like a duck to water in any case. He had not a hard time leaving his player’s jersey and donning a coach uniform because all he cared about was still being able to maintain a connection to soccer. It also helped that being a father to several kids who loved soccer as much as he did, Lares was able to get free “training” when he had to teach his own kids how to play soccer.

At the end of the day, all kids are the same and Lares knew that what worked with his kids would work with other kids as well. He learned how to instil self-discipline in his team because with self-discipline, they were less prone to disobey him and become unruly in court. He also made sure that their training sessions, although occasionally rigorous, were never tormenting or boring. He wanted their passion for soccer to remain alive because that passion was vital for every team to win the game. Skills can only go so far. It is passion that makes the impossible happen.

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