Hudson J Apotheker
I owe who I am to my father and look up to him in every way, but If someone asks me who I look up to or who I consider my role model, I would have to say it would me my soccer coach Martin.
Most of my life, I was un-athletic and made fun of for being in such condition. Asthma did not make things any better. I tried peewee wrestling, little league baseball and other activities but I was always picked last and did not benefit my team. The worst part was it took away from the fun. There was one place where I could have fun and progress at my own place. That was Al’s Pals soccer. Ever since I was six, I attended a weekly soccer session. It was un competitive and I had fun every time. This would not be possible without my Coach. Year after year I showed up and played soccer. I became a bit more physical and learned at my own pace. Coach martins encouraging words kept me going if I was ready to give up. I was to compete against myself and have fun instead of try to compete against other players and end up defeated. As I got older I got better. But there came the time where I would become too old to play. This would not be my last time on the field with my coach.
Freshman year of high school: Six foot, one inch tall, just barely 120 pounds, it would take me over 12 minutes to run a mile with my asthma. I began to coach Al’s Pals soccer and volunteer my time to my coach. I had to give back all that he taught me. His motto was “everyone plays”. If it was blazing hot out, raining, snowing or cold enough for your water bottle to freeze, we would still play. I learned from him that if things got tough, to never give up. I started running and working out and eventually joined my high school rugby team. An asthma attack would bring me to my knees but I wouldn’t give up. Day after Day I competed against myself.
I still always came back to coach soccer and I tried my best to convey my coach’s message to the young players. I would always ensure they would be smiling on the field. Caching was one of the things that sparked my love for teaching. I kept with the coaching and the rugby and never gave up.
Now a freshman in college, I plan to be a teacher and coach rugby. Having devoted hours to the gym, I weigh over 175 pounds while running a, mile in just over 5 minutes. I play for the division one Towson Rugby club ranked 3rd in the nation.
They say when you get better at something you owe it to yourself for not giving up. This may be true but I owe it all to my coach for helping me get started. He taught me that it’s okay if someone on the field is better or worse than you, but as long as you are better than yourself last time you played then you have succeeded. I will always look back and remember what I learned on the field.
Coaching has taught me more than I have taught the players. Now called First Touch Soccer Academy, Coach Martin continues to make a difference. I owe many of my core values to this program. Guidance by such a person has been invaluable to me as a person and each lesson on Saturday has made me better on the field and off. As I get older I only wish to convey my coach’s message to others and always come out with his attitude whatever the conditions. I will never be able to thank my coach enough.