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Sports as a Vehicle for Mentorship

Sports as a Vehicle for Mentorship

I have been playing sports my entire life. I credit the sport of soccer for the individual that I am today!

Since the beginning, playing soccer in Peru and the United States, I have been blessed to have some incredible mentors in my life. I vividly remember my father Williams Marchesi spending time with me every single afternoon after his work day, working on basic soccer skills while he passed down history, culture, and lessons learned. What I remember most about this time is what he taught me about the value of doing things with discipline and humility.

Then came my first recreational soccer coach at the age of 10, Fanny Chamberlain. She always took me in because my parents couldn’t at the time due to their work commitments. She treated me like her own son, she taught me about the feeling of belonging. In her eyes, I was not just another kid, another statistic, but I was someone special; I was family! Till this day, I consider her a second mother and consider her own children my brother and sister. I remember becoming proficient as a soccer player. I was asked to try out for the competitive traveling team, although my family could not afford the fees. It was my former coach, Fanny, who sponsored me for the fees, drove me to every game, and watched me play throughout my entire journey. She spent time with me and invested in me like nobody else has done throughout my entire life.

As I moved to the competitive soccer circuit, I remember our coach Jim Walbot and his willingness to give back to his community. His greatest attribute was that even though he didn’t have to, he was committed to giving back and creating positive experiences for young people in his community. Through multiple years of conversations, he shared the most profound wisdom I have ever heard about why it is important to give back and invest in our communities to see them thrive.

I also remember my high school coach, Jim Evans, who allowed me the opportunity to fail but fail forward. And in my stubbornness of thinking that I knew more than I really did through those high school years, he showed me in words and in actions, to be accountable for my mistakes and my triumphs. I will always be grateful for him teaching me the value of learning from my own mistakes. Teaching me the value of apologizing, learning from the experience, moving on, and moving forward.

Lastly, I vividly remember my college soccer coach Travis Parker, who taught me the value of the opportunity of a quality education.

His emphasis on being great in the classroom and being great as a teammate, rather than being simply an athlete, are qualities that transcend in the man that I am today. His knowledge of turning fear into humility, and humility into hard work, and hard work into success, is something that I will forever treasure as a pillar of my core values.

Soccer for me has always been about the teachable moments, and not simply about the sport. It is mentors like the ones that I have been blessed to have in my journey that create intentional and positive learning opportunities for young people from all walks of life. It is about using the sport as a vehicle for mentorship and to create meaningful change for young people and our entire community.

For breakfast this morning I had a banana, two glasses of water, and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.

Author: @brunomarchesi

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