Soccer is the world’s game and should not be accessible only to those who can afford it.– my friend Jonny Sinclair, founder of Matthews Mavericks
Other than my 5 year old son now playing (and loving) the game, soccer lies in a past life for me. If you’ve been following along for any amount of time now, you know soccer has been replaced with golf. So it should also be noted that in the above quote, soccer could be replaced with golf, baseball, or really any other activity.
The thing about having a vision is that oftentimes the leader has to be stubborn. Uncompromising. A little mad, even. To be able to drown out the noise and pull it off is a challenge. I’m 3.5 years into my ever-evolving vision, and as I grind day after day, often alone, in southern Mississippi, I look for pockets of wisdom in the most untraditional places.
Free soccer for kids? What a novel, beautiful, and inspiring idea. It only took one post match beer a few years ago to know immediately that Jonny and I viewed the world through a similar lens. During that post match beer, Jonny and I were discussing our most unique travel experiences. After quite the incredible rundown, he mentioned that he and I should meet up one day in Spain for their annual crazy tomato fight, of all things. With most folks, I would brush it off as idle chit chat, a 0% chance of that trip ever actually happening. But with Jonny, a doer, I better start checking if there are direct flights from Mississippi to Spain (now that’s a 0% chance).
A talented player with a heart of gold and an even more talented match recap email writer, Jonny is a go and do kind of guy. Something needs to be done? Well, it ain’t gonna get done with words. Watching him from afar get this done and his free teams already being competitive is so inspiring. I hope they win it all, but more importantly, I hope some kid gets a chance that increases the opportunity for him/her to write his/her own life story.
I recently read that an aspiring minitour golf professional needs $50-$60k per year to seriously pursue greatness. I can’t vouch for those numbers, but golf is crazy expensive. My equipment investment was just north of $3,000. My annual unlimited golf membership is roughly the same. Tack on some nicks and nacks, and we are up to nearly $10,000 just to practice seriously. For a 38 year old who has already lived one life, that is okay. For many, it is absurd.
One of my strengths in life is the ability to navigate and remain confident through uncharted waters, so I’m comfortable with that investment. I told myself money would not be the reason I didn’t achieve my vision. It shouldn’t be the reason I don’t achieve my vision, and it should never be the reason someone doesn’t get a chance. But more often than not it is, and that will never change unless someone does something about it. I think Jonny would agree.
A major part of my big golf bet is that if I spent the necessary time, energy, and grind on getting good as a player, I would have a chance to be taken seriously and affect others in a positive way. I’m an abnormal golfer. I took up the game late. I quit my lucrative career so I could play every day. I have 12 tattoos. I wear what I wear. I think what I think. I speak a different golf language, but I’ve taken the time to understand it all: old and new, red and blue.
Over the past few years, I played golf in Iceland, Mexico, and almost half of the United States. I’ve shot a 5 under par 67 and achieved a 0 handicap. I’ve put in thousands of focused hours…
…just so, at a minimum, I might help someone?
A presence at my course literally every single day, I recently started getting requests from the younger, hipper set. Where do you get your belts? Where do you get your hats? Where do you get your shoes? Do you teach?
Ah, yes. I don’t formally teach, but I can help you get better. Miles better.
What are your credentials?
I’ve personally done it.
How much for a session?
No charge. (Thanks Jonny.)
My vision with abk is to help others view the world through a different lens. It’s not a perfect lens. It’s not a better lens, necessarily. But, like anything, you can’t make that choice if you are unaware a different mindset exists.
My vision with abk Golf is the same. Are you unimpressed or intimidated by the traditional, often unaffordable, route?
During my first lesson with my first student, we primarily talked about how he sees the golf course. What he sees. What he doesn’t see. What he should see. How to overcome fear. What his personal, realistic goals are.
When the young man and I went out on the course together for the first time, I told him I had one rule. Getting better is on you. It’s not on me. It’s not on your dad. It’s on you. Own the goal. But I’ll give you a fighting chance, and it won’t cost you a dime.
I’d like to take credit for such a groundbreaking idea, but folks like Jonny are miles ahead of me. I naturally have a money-making mind, but I have been steering further and further away from that in certain aspects of Life # 2.
As my mate Junior, who also knows Jonny, would say, don’t underestimate the power of one. It might just be free soccer, or it might completely transform someone’s life.
Have a great week.-Benj
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