I have learned a many things from participating in varsity soccer and making the varsity team was an achievement that I am very proud of accomplishing. It has changed my entire outlook on and attitude toward life. Before my freshman year of high school, I was shy and turned away from seemingly impossible challenges. Soccer has altered all of these qualities.
When I started high school, my goal was to make varsity soccer. I went to every captain’s practice and worked as hard as I could to learn the way my coach expected things to be done. The day came when the varsity players were named and I was not on the list. I was crushed and wondered if I even wanted to play soccer anymore, even though I had been playing since I was 4 years old.
I stuck with it and vowed to improve that year while playing for the JV team. There were many occasions where I made mistakes. Most of the time the mistakes were not significant; they rarely changed the outcome of a play. Yet I received a thorough verbal lashing on the sidelines for the mistakes I had made and silently seethed about how unfair it was. Because of these occurrences, I started to doubt myself and started to fear playing. However, I did not always make mistakes. Sometimes I made great plays, for which I was congratulated.
When captain’s practices rolled around my sophomore year, I again vowed to make varsity. I was not going to be beaten down and was learning that by making mistakes I was actually learning in the process and it was making me a better player. That year when the varsity team list came out, I was on it!
Now, as I enter into my senior year of soccer, I feel like a changed person. I am still afraid of making mistakes and getting blamed by screaming coaches and angry teammates. Sometimes these fears came true and all I can do is learn and move on.
Over the years, playing soccer has taught me what it takes to succeed. From months of tough practices, I have gained an incredible work ethic that carries over into my personal life. From my coaches and fellow teammates, I have learned to work well with others in a group, as it is necessary to cooperate with teammates on the playing field. But most important, I have also gained self-confidence. If I fail, it doesn’t matter if they get angry and yell; I’ll just try again and do it better. I realize that it is necessary to risk failure in order to gain success. The coaches have always said before games that nothing is impossible; I know that now. Now, I welcome the challenge. Whether I succeed or fail is irrelevant; it is only important that I have tried and tested myself.