This I Believe

David - pembroke pines, Florida
Entered on October 29, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports

I believe in young athletes, who can play their sport without parents or coaches telling them what to do and how to do it. The coaches should coach, not jump down the players’ throat yelling at them. This leaves the player feeling disheartened.

Seeing the other players get compliments from the coach can dissatisfy a players’ interest for the sport. Or not getting as much “playing time” in the game can cause the same feelings. Parents would wonder why their child has decided to give up the sport, and it is because they have become so stressed with everyone criticizing them. I have been in a similar situation.

I started playing soccer when I was seven years old. My parents got me interested when they bought me a soccer ball for my seventh birthday. They pushed me to play in an organized group, so they signed me up for recreational soccer.

When I started in recreational soccer, I did not know what to expect. It turned out I was one of the best players around. I was fast, I stopped others from scoring, and a lot of people knew me. The coaches from travel teams noticed my abilities and asked me to join one of their teams. I was a little unsure at first, but with my parents support, I decided to do it.

As I switched to travel soccer, I realized that I would need more than speed and skill for me to be recognized. Of course, everyone on my team was a good player, but they had their own strengths that the coaches noticed. It was normal for me to start and play the whole game in recreational soccer, but when I went to travel soccer, I barely had any playing time.

I wasn’t playing as long as I wanted to, and the other players would criticize me if I did something wrong. At the end of the season some of my teammates went to better teams. The coaches from those teams wondered if I too, was going to join the other players. Once they heard that I was not going to play soccer any longer, the coaches and players begged for me to stay. But I decided not to.

My teammates’ criticism, and me not playing as long, took the passion of playing soccer out of me. Many people were shocked about this decision but I couldn’t go through it anymore. I had practices from eight to ten and games every weekend during the summer. There was no time for me to go on vacation without missing a game, and the coach would have been mad. A young athlete should not go through stress at such a young age.