This I Believe

Julian - Santa Rosa, California
Entered on October 31, 2007

I believe in confidence, and that a true belief in your abilities will take you as far as you want to go. Too many people are too modest about their accomplishments, and rely too much on other people to reassure them of their own abilities. And when the rare occasion comes that people are confident and outwardly display their confidence, they are branded as self centered, or cocky. Confidence is lacking in today’s world, but confidence is essential to accomplish anything.

Confidence has played a huge role in my success. In 2004 I went to Super Y National camp in Florida. The camp was to identify the best players in the country who played in that league. At the camp the kids I was playing were a year older and much larger. I was scared. You could see the scared look on my face. I walked around slowly, unsure of myself. I called home and friends for support constantly. I couldn’t help but feel I didn’t belong at the camp. By the time the first game swung around I was convinced I was in the wrong place. The game started and it was normal as ever until the goalkeeper on the other team made a huge punt. Usually for my club team I did not have to worry about those punts, someone else did, however at the camp I was fully expected to head those. When the first punt came and I missed the head. Nothing resulted from it, not a goal or even a dangerous possession, but that event drained me of any confidence I had. As the camp progressed I began to play better but never up to my abilities. At the end I didn’t make the team.

After the camp I came home and my club coach changed. My new club coach, Messias Souza, taught me all about soccer. He taught me skills and a how to use my best skills to my advantage. What Messias also did was really simplify things for me. Often he would say, “This is all” after I made a simple play. Messias taught that not everything has to be gorgeous, but if you play simple and don’t mistakes eventual something beautiful will happen. His coaching helped me believe in myself and understand that I could play with anyone.

Recently I returned to the Super Y National camp, but this time I had confidence in my abilities. I felt like I belonged. When I stepped onto the field for the first game, there were some jitters and a couple of shaky passes, but I settled down because I was sure I could play with the group of kids at the camp. The whole camp I played simple, made overlapping runs and shut down all comers. In the back I was a rock, and the coaches noticed, which resulted in an invite into the all-star game.

The major difference between those two camps was that I had confidence in my abilities in the second camp. I was not relying on other people to tell me how good I was. Self-confidence is imperative to success. The higher and farther you go people will no longer tell you that you are good. You cannot worry about what other people think you have to be confident in your abilities and sure enough of yourself to know that you can succeed in the situation you are in.