I am not sure I can put into words how much Autobahn soccer camps and the Academy have done for both of my kids. We started with a spring break camp this year, and it has been the beginning of a whole new world for our whole family. I never imagined that soccer and being a part of this community could do so much for my kids – their strength, ability, stamina, health and more than that, their confidence, determination and sense of themselves. Of course these are things we all want for our kids, but for our son, it has been a life-changer. Our son has a rare condition that has resulted in health struggles his entire young life (he’s 7 now), and he struggled to develop confidence in his physical body because it had failed him. This was one of the big reasons I hesitated to put him in a “real” soccer program (he had done others and never enjoyed a minute of it). But what has happened I could have never predicted. Fast forward 5 months, and I can hardly recognize this small boy I see racing around. He is strong, fast and getting stronger and faster and more skilled by the day … and he is tough! He wants to play soccer all day every day, and he can. We had to build a wooden wall for him to kick the ball against for hours on end. Quite the opposite of it being too much for him, it has been the single biggest thing that has helped his physical health. And beyond that, he feels powerful and confident. Before starting with Autobahn, he would tell us about playing soccer with kids at school during recess and how some of them were so good and so much bigger that he could never get the ball from them. Not even a month after starting with Autobahn, he came home reporting he had stolen the ball from the best boy. His smile was from ear to ear and filled our hearts. To see our little guy filled with confidence in his small and now strong body is more than we could have asked for. So now, we are all in. He looks forward to the Academy every Friday, can’t wait for time off from school so he can do camps - he cannot get enough.
And my daughter … well she had no interest in soccer, none. And one of the things I love the most about the Autobahn academy is that they force nothing and are endlessly flexible and they somehow know how to really inspire love for the sport. They waited her out, let her watch my son, but built her up, worked with her and supported her when she was ready. I think a huge part of it was confidence for her … before she would rather not try then not be good, and now she sees what comes from showing up and going for it. To see my daughter out there and loving it … it is nothing short of AWESOME.
The coaches and community that make up Autobahn are the real deal – as coaches and as human beings. They do it because they love it, and it shows. They love soccer, they love these kids, and they build them up one kid at a time and one day at a time. They are committed to developing these kids, no matter what their skill level, the kid just starting out all the way to the most skilled players on the field. It is a great place to be a kid starting out and a great place to be a really skilled player. They are teaching these kids soccer skills and skills for life. My kids love the sport now … really love it. But more than that, they are learning lessons that will carry them through so much more. And they are part of a community that wants to grow them as players and people. Doesn’t get any better than that.