When you think about the word leader, what comes to mind? Is it someone is a position of power? Is it your boss? Someone of great influence? Traditionally, this is definitely what a leader can be defined as. But times are changing. Leadership is something like a discipline; a thing to be practiced and learned. Putting yourself out on the line, taking risks, and accepting accountability for failure are all elements that leadership learning embodies. Aidan Morris, from Ft. Lauderdale Florida believes that a leader is someone who can set an example for others – someone who follows their own path.
There is a new generation of leaders out there, individuals who Soccer For Change thinks demonstrate what a true leader is. And Aidan Morris is one of them. We had the pleasure to interview the attacking midfielder who currently plays for the Columbus Crew, along with the U16 U.S National team. Aidan opened up about what factors have impacted his life in order to make him one of the top youth players in the United States, his goals, and some advice for aspiring players. Check out the interview below:
SFC: What is your position?
Aidan: Attacking Midfielder
SFC: What club do you currently belong too?
Aidan: Columbus Crew, and I play for the U16 U.S National Team
SFC: What is your favorite club team?
Aidan: Manchester United
SFC: As one of the top youth players in the United States what factors have had the biggest impact on your success?
Aidan: I think that my performance on the field is a reflection of my work ethic. Between practice and games, I spend a lot of time working on my craft. It doesn’t stop there for me. I’m a big advocate for cross training and yoga, I feel that these components really enhance my rate of progress.
SFC: What has been your biggest challenge on the road to the national team. How did you overcome it?
Aidan: The mind battle of inconsistently being called up can be tough to handle. I went through a phase where I was in the pool, and I really wanted to be on the start list. During that time, I really had to stay focused and keep my heart set on my goals.
SFC: What is your ultimate goal?
Aidan: To be a starting player for Manchester United
SFC: Who is the sports icon you look up too the most? Why?
Aidan: Antoine Griezman, because he plays a certain style as I do.
SFC: Soccer For Change offers a leadership development program for youth. What does the word ‘leader’ mean to you?
Aidan: A leader is someone on who can set an example for others. And someone who follows their own path.
SFC: Soccer For Change uses soccer as a platform to teach youth important skills they need to succeed in life. Can you tell us what skills have you learned through soccer that can be applied to life off the field?
Aidan: I think the most important skill is dedication, with whatever you do you have to enjoy it and if you do, you need dedication.
SFC: Any advice for other soccer players your age who are trying to reach the professional level?
Aidan: That is a hard one for me to answer because I am not a pro yet, but what has worked for me so far is not only training with your team, but going out to train by yourself whenever you get the chance.
Being a leader isn’t about being in a high position of power, or having the title of the “Boss”. A leader is someone that wants to inspire others to be great, someone who chooses their own path in life, and someone who works for their success. “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It’s about one life, influencing another” – John C. Maxwell.