“This is perfect! Just like I had dreamt of it; the lush green grass, the beautiful uniforms, a brilliant coach and a team full of exuberance. This is my day; I am living my dream to be the best soccer player! ” Andi could not control his ecstasy of being at a soccer practice club on this bright day under the clear sky after finally having convinced his father after months to let him excel in this field of sport. With the whistle of the coach, the boys started chasing the ball and striving to get to the goal by saving their moves very closely from their competitors.
Andi, a tall and lanky 16 year old boy with tanned skin and hair falling at his forehead, was one player that stood out of the team because of his incredible swiftness and strategic positioning while he was tackling players. The soccer coach named David has immediately pointed him out in his head as somebody who could even be the captain of the team. After the practice, David approached Andi and asked, “Wow! You were brilliant out there at the field; great work, Andi! What inspires you to be so focused on the sport?
” Andi responded beaming, “My grandfather. In my opinion, he was the best soccer player alive on planet earth – and that’s what I want to become. One day, I will show the world what I have in me. I would love to talk to you, coach, but I have to rush home because my homeroom teacher is waiting to prepare me for my final exam next month. See you tomorrow! ” As Andi walked out of the club, David watched him with a gratifying smile on his face and said to himself, “The future of soccer looks bright with these little hero around”
After a short walk home, Andi was engrossed into his books in no time and listening intently to whatever his teacher, Mr. Jeremy was explaining along with questioning actively whenever he was baffled by the complications of mathematics. The teacher was genuinely impressed by Andi’s concentration and complimented Mr. Budiman, “If all parents groom their kids the way you did, sir, no power on earth can stop this country from prospering. ” This left Mr. Budiman’s chest heavy in pride for the rest of the two weeks, when things were perfect and he was happy that he let Andi go for soccer practice 5 days a week.
After the two weeks of perfection had passed, Andi returned home after furious, intense and extremely tiring soccer practice and slumped on couch without being bothered about Mr. Jeremy waiting for him. “Aaaaah, can’t I get a day off today? I am in no state of solving math problems or understanding scientific theories. The practice left my entire body aching; it’s horrible, sir! ” Before Mr. Jeremy could respond, Mr. Budiman glared at Andi with his face turning red and fists clenched and before even he could say something, Andi shot up from the couch within a millisecond and sat across Mr.
Jeremy on the study table. “I better watch out for daddy; he will jeopardize my soccer practice if I fail this stupid exam,” Andi mumbled under his breath while opening his books. Andi managed to put up a straight face and seem interested with lines on his forehead but clearly, he was sleeping with his eyes open. Not only did he manage to fool Mr. Jeremy, but also David, when he lost focus and concentration on the game but pretended to be vigorous about it. It would not have been this disappointing if the entire team was not suffering because of his performance.
The radiance from his face had vanished and was replaced by constant yawning, heaving and frequent “Oh god, when will this practice end? ” expressions. While running towards the soccer ball, Andi ran out of breath and slowed down and eventually bent with hands on his knees to catch his breath and regain his strength. During the act, a team member came running passionately towards the ball and bumped into Andi with such an impact, Andi toppled over twice. David blew the whistle instantly and the team members gathered around Andi in no time to find a sprained ankle.
David came running with a sprain spray and held Andi’s Ankle, “Ouch! Don’t touch it, it hurts! Oh no, not this spray, it burns like no tomorrow! Don’t! STOP! DAVID! NO! ” But David was wise enough to ignore Andi and spray on his ankle. David lifted Andi in his arms and took him to the first aid corner of the club and laid him on a bed. “Sssh! Just stay right here. Rest until you think you can go home, I will call your father till then and ask him to get you” said David sternly. “Don’t call my dad; you will put my soccer career on stake! ” blurted Andi.
“What are you talking about, young man? Injuries are part of sports” said David calmly. “You don’t get it! My dad didn’t want me to play soccer because my grandfather was a soccer player himself and got paralyzed during a match injury. My father will never let me play if he hears about this” expressed Andi exasperatedly. Listening to his plea was definitely not what a good coach should do, thus, David called Mr. Budiman explaining the entire situation; he also added, “I’m very worried about Andi personally; he doesn’t seem to be the same fire starter Andi anymore.
He’s losing his concentration and is always exhausted; in fact, he is not as fit as he used to be, which means his health is also suffering. He should take time off and rest till he’s fresh and ready to be back on the field” The next week was tense – the air around the house was tough on Andi; suffocating at instances. Andi’s vibrant face was melancholic and he would just stay in his room and only come out for meals (which he would skip at times) and when Mr. Jeremy came for lessons. Mr.
Budiman naturally did not like the state his son was in, so he entered Andi’s room one day, sat besides him on the bed and after relieving a long sigh, said, “Look son, I want the best of the future for you. The decisions I make for you are all based on what’s best for YOU. Just concentrate on your exam for the time being. Things will be better soon. ” Andi nodded lightly. Andi worked hard for the exam with Mr. Jeremy but could not take his mind off the green fields and the smell of victory, so he went and watched his team play at times.
The soccer competition has 8 teams, if Andi’s team can go through to the finals, they will have 4 games in totals (Huddleston, N. D). Andi’s team clears the first two rounds despite facing challenges and hurdles due to Andi not being present. Andi’s depression grew when he imagined the semi finals and finals without him even after knowing that his recovery had been quick and smooth. But something inside of him rekindled the fire and passion for soccer and he decided to speak to his father.
“Dad, you have seen me work hard for the exam; I did what you wanted. Can’t I deserve another chance? Soccer is my dream, dad! How can I just let it go? ” After a long discussion, Mr. Budiman agreed but on the condition of Andi clearing the finals with good grades. David had a hard time deciding too, because a new player cannot enter the match at this stage, but thinking in favor of the team, he knew it was sensible to let Andi play. Before he knew it, Andi was in the team once again with the zeal and fervor doubled!
The big day was here and the entire team was pumped up to get the cup; the audience was cheering loudly for Andi’s team on the bright sunny day of Sunday. Mr. Budiman was also surprisingly very charged up for the match and was waving a banner that said “Go Andi! ” in the air. The next 50 minutes for which the match lasted were extremely magical; Andi was like a rocket on fire and his performance kept soaring higher like a bird; expectations grew and the crowd was fanatically cheering for Andi who very shrewdly, strategically and athletically earned goal after goal.
Mr. Budiman could not help but jump on his seat and sing victory songs for his son with face shining and a permanent smile. To nobody’s surprise, Andi’s team won the finals before the competitors could even gear up. Andi, the best player, was summoned in the air on the team’s shoulders after which the players hugged each other so tight that the bond seemed to be unbreakable. Mr. Budiman could not control and he ran into the field and hugged his son teary eyed saying, “You played just like your grandfather, like a true hero! I’m so very proud of you, son! ”
Celebrations were inevitable but Andi focused on making his dad even more proud by taking a great final; which he clearly managed to do. He got an A grade on his exam and announced it proudly with a “I did it, dad! ”, which resulted in a father-son relationship that was incredibly beautiful. Andi and Mr. Budiman both realized the importance of balancing life between studies and sports, taking up challenges, risking life, living for each other and most importantly, loving life! Works Cited David and Kay Huddleston (Copyright 1999-2009) From www. soccerhelp. com