If you read the blog - "Passion" then you would have read a bit regarding my adult playing years exploding in my face. Everything that could go wrong literally went wrong. Starting in 2003 I had an rare undiagnosed injury that haunted me until I decided to hang up my boots. Years later, I went back to the specialist to get re-assessed, I was relentless regarding wanting answers on what really happened in my "prime". The specialist gave me the worst answer he probably could give me that day, "oh it was probably chronic compartment syndrome, you were in the "grey" area with pressure readings very close to the surgery go-ahead. Lets re-test you asap." Steaming inside I said, "fine" with a smile on my face and got put in for another treadmill / pressure test. Basically a specialist will put you on a treadmill for 5 minutes, once your taken off the treadmill your legs get frozen with a needle, and immediately after another massive needle goes in for a pressure reading in HGMM. The surgery cut-off is around 35hgmm. 8 years prior I was @ 33hgmm. That day, I read 55hgmm. The surgeon then non-chalantely asks me, "do you want surgery?" Surprised at this sudden option, I didn't even have to think about it. I said yes. Deep down I wanted to do it even if it was for the symbolic act to win over the rare injury that took away any hope of playing at an elite level. The CCS condition even took my varsity playing chances away from me, something I have also hated about what has happened to my soccer "career". What else stood out about this injury or condition was when it very first happened. It was early in the morning of July 2003 when I was doing our daily 6:00am fitness and technical session with Corban Academy. Everyday we would do fitness (without ball) from 6:00am to 7:30am, then a technical session from 7:30am to 9:00am. Half way through one of the fitness sessions, the cramping in the calfs started to happen, and soon after tingling in the toes. 5 minutes later one of my feet were dead asleep up to the ankle. This is by far the worst feeling I have ever experienced while playing soccer. I raised the new, very confusing concern with my trainer. He just laughed at me, and made a joke out of it. From there, I dealt with it without many answers until my Dad took me to the family doctor who tried his best to give me some answers. From there I was a ginny pig at UBC hospital for many years that included: ultra sounds, radiation tests, nerve conductor exam, physical exams, specialists, chronic compartment tests that resulted in high readings but apparently not high enough to sign me off for surgery. And lastly, due to being an athlete they had me do 3 MRI's in 3 months, all paid for. This was torcher, I felt helpless and not many answers were popping up. At one point, I felt others were thinking that I was stretching the truth about what I was feeling internally when running. On a few occasions, I swear people thought that I was flat out lying to them. Now a days the detailed info regarding the CCS condition is available on the internet. A simple google or youtube search will provide everything, including CCS surgery videos. Apparently, there is even a infra-red MRI machine that can pick it out immediately.
If this condition didn't occur, I would had a decent shot at success in Europe or even locally in North America. The other issues that are worth mentioning are: poor management which was attempted by my trainer, along with the same individual creating absurd training fees to my family that would be even sky high today, even if you include inflation of 12 years. Federation papers not being signed or dealt with properly in both Brazil and Portugal. Lastly, a long term hip injury that has never re-bounded to 100%. Once you pile all that up, you have disaster.
- Broken - Since 2009, I pivoted into law enforcement for the last 8 years. I've had some very interesting experiences working in a division that has sights, noises, and situations in a 12 hour shift that an average person wouldn't see in their entire life. Now anything disturbing to someone else, I find normal and can deal with without blinking. Although, in this field I have experienced so much politics that when I started my Academy it made it all go away. Coaching youth soccer, became a de-stresser and new passion. I now enjoy it more then playing. There is a common saying that when one door closes, another will open. Well, for me that saying is true to the max. In fact, it has been eerie at the signs, events and people I have ran into the last decade to make it clear that the past events in my life has shaped a future career in coaching. All the disadvantages, and unfortunate events in my life in the sport have now turned into massive advantages and insight on how to train, guide, and speak to a player. In my perspective, it has provided me a huge advantage and experience over other coaches. If I am honest with myself, the events above are only a fraction of what has happened. From my playing days with Corban, I have experienced how to train an athlete and implement a professional program and not to include old school practices / principles (See Old School blog). For several years at my old Club Metro Ford I encountered an over-whelming talented team that had zero chemistry and outdated coaching. A training program that couldn't support how much talent it had. I have learned the inner secrets of how to plan an over-sea trips that in my opinion people today still get wrong. I have seen and experienced if a coach is not brushed up on his sport science how it will DIRECTLY effect the athlete over a long period of time. I have personally experienced the effects on injury management and how it's crucial to take care of your athletes on and OFF the field. I have personally experienced and seen how load percentage on athletes and improper breaks in the training schedule can effect an athlete physically, mentally and emotionally. I have seen how updated curriculum can transition into outdated if research isn't done. I have seen how the internet has changed players, coaches, and information that surrounds the game. One of the coaches who I really admire, uses the word unapologetic in his approach to theory and methodology. I love it, because I am now unapologetic when I get straight to the point with another coach, athlete, parent or even person in power of a local program, club, or provincial body. Things need to change and I told myself that I've seen enough and experienced enough that I will speak out to mediocre, poor coaching or approach to athletes, and improper, outdated practices & principles.
Speaking of getting to the point: To understand Premier Academy and myself as a coach, you have to know my past and what I have experienced. The intricate details of Premier Academy that are built within are directly because of what has happened in my playing days. No coaching license can provide me that, in fact, most people say coaching licenses make up 15% - 20% of your coaching profile. I'd tend to agree. After many years of having to deal with some big WHY ME and WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? I am now glad it did, now I know what do in my Academy and what it takes to build a true soccer experience for someone who loves the game, while keeping in mind the Canadian culture that we live in.
Broken, I'm glad it happened - Never in my life have I had a inner gut feeling in what I was doing was so accurate, modern, life-changing, and impacting. Thankfully, the athlete receives these and because they get impacted in a positive way it allows the most rewarding job I have ever had.