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Great Falls soccer pro aims to help kids learn the sport

Dylan Gillaspie
Posted at 3:50 PM, Jan 31, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-01 19:06:12-05

In the video above, reporter James Rolin talks with Dylan Gillaspie, who has played soccer for several teams in Europe and now lives in Great Falls. He is working to create a non-profit foundation to help teach kids. Click here to visit his Facebook page.

Dylan had been dealing with mental health concerns for years. After consulting with therapists and doctors Dylan was diagnosed with Autism, but he wasn’t really surprised. “I’ve always been a little different. I’ve never fit into the social norms,” he remembers.

While some people may see this as a drawback or a reason for thing not working out, Dylan has instead decided to see it as a gift. After his diagnosis he realized that it may just be his superpower in the sport, “I can do the same thing over and over and over again for 4 hours and it doesn’t get old. That’s why I’ve been able to do so well.”

Competing all over the world, Dylan was set to go pro, but decided that it was just too much to deal with. He had been pushed too hard for too long.

After recovering from training burnout he has found a new purpose in teaching kids about soccer. Dylan has a goal to make soccer more accessible for kids in Montana and he believes that his autism diagnosis may be the thing that helps him accomplish this.

Using his unique ability to focus on performance, he has began to create Jogo Bonita which means Play Beautifully” in Portuguese. This new organization aims to make soccer free for kids in the area and give proper structured coaching as well as support to underserved communities.