Posts in Category: Thirty five millimeters

Cupped, whirled.


after a huge fall of soccer that included pulling double duty as a starting Varsity high school player as a freshman and helping the club team go undefeated in league play to make the jump up to the next level for spring, the spring has rolled into early summer with reward(s) for all the hard work. a cup, the U.S. Youth Soccer, Kentucky State Open Cup to be exact. for all the success in soccer, the trophies, the medals, the t-shirts, the atta-boys this item has been elusive. but no longer. great coaching, super commitment and a winning, positive mindset are all huge parts of this whirlwind run of the last 10 months. but it’s isn’t over yet…more for sure…

when you have one to beat…

to that ball.
you beat them.

maturity and its place.

i have a thought pertaining to art, music, sport…
if you are any good at all, then you know that you can be better. i played some football in my youth, screamed in a band, took some photos, talked for hours a day on the radio, made some art, wrote some words, basically i failed at a whole litany of “things.” i can honestly say i was never that good at any of those “things,” but i was good enough to understand that i needed to improve, and that i could. now with young boys, there’s an ego, there’s a “i’m the best at this” attitude that helps drive them. you never want to smother that, but you do want them to understand that there really never is a “best.” you are in charge of pushing yourself to this unobtainable notion of an invisible measuring stick. now, you can use stats, or the eyeball test, or success as a gauge in anything your are doing but none of those things truly can give you a scale to mark your personal “better.” i am proud that boy #1 and boy #2 manage to push themselves to be better in so many ways. there’s maturity there that i didn’t possess at their ages when it comes to drive and fortitude. that’s kind of a big deal. it’s serving them well.

when i snap a frame at a soccer match, i think i am trying capture a story in 1/500th of a second that speaks to “getting better.” i doesn’t always work, it maybe never works as a public narrative–but to me, what i see here is a boy, who looks more like a man, compared to the opposition. he is running towards a ball not in the frame, and he has already beaten a pair of kids mentally, they are giving up, he isn’t. he doesn’t know they have, he doesn’t care whether they have or not. he has focus, he is finding a maturity. he sent me a text the night before a full weekend of soccer matches, it said, “i don’t even care. like i literally could be playing against college kids or a 2-year-old. i really don’t care at all.” he is making his soccer game, about his role, not about others. he’s getting better.

find your ball.

find your ball.

what you quickly find out if you are lucky enough to have a child who takes to some “thing”–soccer, or writing, or singing, or whatever that “thing” is they take to–is that none of these “things” can be faked. these “things” become a feeling, a passion, a lifestyle. they spend the time when they aren’t doing these “things”, preparing to do these “things”…better. not to say it’s obsessively unhealthy, but it does envelope life and become part of the skin of being. success becomes important, yes, but you hope they are getting the fact that each moment, each experience will be about more than just success or failure. as i watch from the sidelines, literally or virtually with a phone or screen of some kind, i find myself wanting to scream…”enjoy all of this, every second, it all passes too fast.” but they have to find all that out on their own, they aren’t gonna buy it from me, yet. so i just say, find your ball, learn its circumference, its weight and like the back of your hand, be able to pick it out in the dark. it will serve you if you serve it.