No. 8 – My Addiction To Sport

Ever since I was old enough to understand the outside world, I was a sports addict. Dad took me to watch my first football (soccer to you Yanks) match when I was 5 or 6. At that early age, I was also interested in, and was fairly knowledgeable about, English cricket, professional golf, and indeed all sports that were covered by the press or appeared on our flickering, small, television in black and white.

I don’t remember the 1952 Olympic Games in Finland, but I have vague memories of the 1956 Games in Australia, and I have quite vivid memories of the 1960 Olympics in Italy.

At my first home and primary school there was little room to play any ball sports, and I can remember a school window being broken by a plastic soccer ball. Although I didn’t make the fateful kick, it was my ball, and I got the blame.

However, in Longriggend it was a different story. There was plenty of space. The schoolyard stretched behind the school to a rather unkempt ashy area which, I think, used to be a proper soccer field. There we played rounders (a children’s form of baseball), cricket, and, of course soccer during school breaks. In the evenings and during weekends, as I could organize access for all, the boys and me were often joined by older boys who were now at secondary school, and a more organized game of soccer would result. We even made a couple of roughly put-together goalposts, complete with crossbars, although we didn’t quite stretch to having nets.

One evening, after it got dark, I said to Dad. “Dad, I want to become a professional footballer. I want to be a center forward, so I know that I’ll get at least one kick of the ball when we kick off.”

Dad sighed before he answered. “Son, you must have realized that the other boys don’t tackle you as hard as they tackle each other. Okay, you are quite a good crosser of the ball, but they give you enough time to do it. You wouldn’t get that time in the professional game. You must be man enough to understand that you will never be able to play at any level of organized football, never mind professionally”.

I felt devastated. “Well, what do you think I will be able to play?” I asked, fighting back tears.

“Golf,” Dad replied. “I see no reason why you couldn’t become quite a good golfer.”

“Golf,” I thought drying my damp eyes. “Now there’s a thought.”

Now for today’s lesson.

Within your overall Internet Marketing strategy, how long do you stick at something before you change to something else? I tried for a full year to play soccer in our little village, before Dad advised me to change course. But, notwithstanding that I said I was going to become a professional, subconsciously, deep down inside I knew that this could never happen. I knew, deep down that, after a year of trying to succeed at soccer, the time had come to look for an alternative sport to satisfy my sporting addiction. My statement to Dad was actually a plea for him to suggest an alternative sport.

With Internet Marketing, most people don’t give anything enough time to succeed. They buy one shiny object, and if, after a day or two, it doesn’t produce instant success, they jump ship to the next shiny object that appears in their inbox. Twenty years ago, my mentor, Dean Holland, got himself into $60,000 of debt doing just that, before he changed his ways. I gave soccer a year before I changed course, so please, if something appears not to be working for you, for example, paid Facebook advertising, give it at least 6 months, of hard work and learning before you switch to another platform.

You will find the right platform for you in the end, but you need to give even the right platform time to prove its worth. By all means, give up on something and change course, but do so only after you have given that something the time to work for you if it eventually can.

Look out for the next blog, in which I will tell you how I got on with golf.

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