So here I am, sitting in a room with 23 other men, waiting to hear if we have passed.
You see for the last month or so, I have been in Central Germany, trying to complete my UEFA B Coaching License and honestly, I am shocked I have made it this far!
It was a mere 4 weeks ago that I was calling home in tears saying I am wasting my time, that my German was simply not good enough to be here. However, now I can say this with a smile on my face - a UEFA Intensive Coaching Course is arguably the best language course around.
You see my days would start around 6:30 am.
This would allow me to not only wake up my body but also my mind. During my workout, I would make sure that I listened to some type of a German podcast to allow my ‘mind’ to get in the right mindset - let it realise that yes we were going again and it was all in a different language!
Then at 9 am, we would head into a classroom and learn two hours of theory, followed by two hours on the pitch where we would put into action what we have just learned. That was followed by lunch and then we would repeat it all again in the afternoon. This would then bring us to dinner, where after we would meet in our groups, to break down some more theory that we would have to present in the following weeks.
After a couple of hours there, we would all drag ourselves to bed to prepare for the next day. But, with me being one of the only non-Germans there, I would then have to stay up an extra hour or two to simply go over all the new Futbol lingo that we were absorbing every day. Mark my words, Futbol off the pitch, compared to on, are two different languages regardless of which language you call your ‘Mutti Sprach’ (mother language).
So, again, there we all were waiting to hear the final verdict. The final verdict of our last month of learning, showing, growing, and breaking down every aspect of futbol. Waiting to hear if we passed the 3 questions/90 minute exam, the physical tests, our own training final exam, and of course our scrimmage game where we beat a 9th league German team 7-1; we were united, scared, but ready to hear our fate.
After what seemed to be an excruciating amount of time, we learned that all but one member of the group had passed, and that our time was well spent.
You know, there has been many things that I am extremely proud of in my life; graduating college, paying off my student loans, being drafted, playing for my country, playing CL in 3 different leagues, attempting to learn 4 different languages, and now being an official graduate of my UEFA B, in German, is right there with it.
Not only to have passed, but I feel extremely lucky to have such wonderful men surrounding me. From the Players, Fathers, Sons, Doctors, Coaches, Teachers, and so many more professions from our small classroom, I was truly lucky to have these 23 random, German men walk away as friends. This will be an experience that I will never forget and one that will always go down with some of my greatest memories of my time in Germany.