In his latest blog entry for Goal.com, Vancouver Whitecaps rookie Bryce Alderson discusses his desire to learn Spanish and the differences between youth soccer and the pro level.
So I've decided to learn Spanish.
I first got the idea a couple of weeks back. We had a match on the Saturday in San Jose, and when we were flying back we had a three-hour layover in the Portland airport, where I saw a stand for Rosetta Stone.
Back home, I have a bunch of friends who speak Spanish, and of course their families speak it too, so whenever I'm over at their houses I can never understand anything. Because of that, I've always wanted to learn it.
Between training and my other schoolwork, I'm going to see if I can take a bit of time to do this Rosetta Stone thing. Hopefully in a few months I'll be able to speak a little bit of Spanish, but we'll see.
I'll head back to Ontario at the end of the season, and my goal right now is to be conversational when I go back and see my friends. I don't really know if that's an achieveable goal, but that's my goal and I'm sticking to it!
Other than that, it's been mostly training for me every day, which is great.
The extra work we do off the field helps, too. A bit of the gym stuff we do in the afternoon to build up the legs and build up the upper body is important, especially when you're a younger player.
It helps tremendously that we've got a great staff leading us through the sessions. Carl Robinson and Jake DeClute will stay afterward with me and help with a few things to keep me improving.
So far it's been great. I really enjoy going every day to training and I'll learn something new, something fresh, and something enjoyable each time.
One thing I'm noticing is the pace of the training sessions. Everyone always says this, but it really is the speed that's the big difference at the next level. Everything is quicker. You have to be quick on the ball, think quicker, and so on. That's really the biggest thing. They're obviously better players here and it's all about the speed of play.
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One of the things I found difficult is not so much competing on a day-to-day basis, but stringing together a week of good training or performances and having that consistency. It's been a little bit tough to find that balance and be consistent, but all you can do is keep working at it, and focus on each individual performance.
Looking ahead, I'm nearing my move-out date. I move into my own apartment on June 1. My dad will be in town in the next week or so for business, and we're going to go look at some furniture and get that stuff ordered so when I move in everything will be ready for delivery. It's starting to feel more real as the date approaches.
But more on that later.
Until next time,