Posted: July 04th 2016
"Dream. Don't be afraid to have dreams. Four years ago I was as far away from this as you can imagine, if you work hard enough and you're not afraid to dream...and your not afraid to fail..."
Wales manager Chris Coleman said this after last night's incredible showing from Wales' Football heroes.
Something amazing has happened in welsh football and it's still in motion and gathering momentum...
It's not even that we have a World class player in Gareth Bale and a well-organised team of good to excellent players.
It's the fact that Bale and the rest of the team, and the coaching team led by Swansea boy Chrissy Coleman have been absolutely inspirational and totally uplifted the whole nation.
Their humanity, courage, flair, grit, humour, confidence and spirit has got everyone believing in all sorts of things that wouldn't have even been a dream just a few years ago...
Wales simply look like a top class international team and that they belong amongst the best teams in the world.
As Coleman said, just a few years ago they were so far from where they are now...
That's what makes it such a great story.
It's also why I'm obsessed with coaching...
I'm always asking myself 'what if?'
I always look for possibilities.
I am an eternal optimist.
And that, I am convinced is why I've been involved in a lot of success stories.
Don't get me wrong, I've fallen flat on my face more times than I care to remember.
Chris Coleman said "I've had more failures than I've had successes. But I'm not afraid to fail"
I can relate...BIG time.
10 years ago, I was on my knees...well, to be more precise I was flat out on my back. I returned home from travelling and working Australia 3 and a 1/2 stone underweight. Like a skeleton.
I had a mysterious illness and was told there was 'no known cure' for it.
I remember being excited because my two brothers Billy and Patrick were coming over to my flat to watch one of the World Cup games. I was so looking forward to the company and watching the game...
But they left 20 mins into it because I was so ill that I couldn't even sit in front of the TV and watch it. I just went to bed and tried to find some way to endure the crippling pain and fatigue I felt in every fibre of my body. It was excruciating.
It was hell.
I hardly ever went out...for YEARS.
I didn't see many people day to day...and had to have my family and close friends do everything for me.
But one thing I was blessed with was TIME.
24 hours a day to DREAM...
And I dreamt BIG.
I ignored the Doctors advice to sit tight an did everything I could to heal myself. It took years, but I did it. I did wonder plenty of times if I'd ever get better but I kept DREAMING of the positive outcomes I wanted...
And do you know what helped?
I didn't just dream about getting better and having my old life back. I dreamt about one that was 10 times better.
I dreamt that I would come back and be 'the difference that made the difference' for young players who were also dreaming BIG.
6 years later and we have had 18 boys signed for Pro Clubs from our independent Academy.
Even more importantly, we've churned out hundreds of players with better skills, more confidence and a better attitude towards life.
And like 'Cookie' says, I'm still dreaming. Still feeling like we're only getting warmed up. We've got so many BIG goals at TCSA, and I'm excited. Even more so after the Welsh invasion of France this summer.
So my message today, encourage your child to dream BIG.
After all, anyone who said Wales were gonna get to the semi-final of the Euros would have been called crazy...a DREAMER (but not in a good way).
Don't impose limits on what your child can be, do or have. In football or in LIFE. And NEVER let them be held back because they might fail.
We've had kids who were literally falling over trying to kick a ball and being laughed at by so called 'friends' at local teams because they were so 'bad' who are now 'hot prospects'.
Let them DREAM...
And inspire them, like the Welsh boys have inspired all of us by 'daring to dream your own dreams' whatever they are...
"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive" Howard Thurman
Have a cracking weekend.
Frankie 'Walking in a Wales Wonderland' Burrows
PS - CLICK below to book your child's Free confidence and Skills-Boosting session at TCSA. Spaces limited in July