This I Believe

Marisa - Ann Arbor, Michigan
Entered on December 23, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

I believe that soccer shaped me as a person, and it is essential to my life. It taught me so many lessons. It affects everything that I do in life, every decision I make. If I hadn’t started to play soccer when I was four years old, my whole life would be different.

To make a long story short, the first day that I played soccer I got hit in the head with the ball and ran off the field crying. That day I proclaimed that I would never be playing soccer again. About a year later, all my friends decided they wanted to play on a soccer team, so I ran home and told my Mom to sign me up with them. Since I was only four when I vowed to never play soccer again, I had totally forgotten that I hated soccer.

When I stepped back on the soccer field, I felt like I belonged there instantly. It was like I was complete when I played. It became a hunger that never died. When I first started out playing again, I was a little timid. But as

time went on, and I had better coaching, I began to come out of my shell and become a really aggressive, good player.

Over time and long hours of dedication, when I was about 11, I had really blossomed into one of the best players on my team. This was the year I had received an offer from a premier team. None of my other friends had gotten and offer for this team. So for various reasons, mainly because I didn’t know anyone

on the premier team, I turned the offer down.

The next year I played, I had received a lot more attention from people than I did the year before. Despite the attention, I still had my heart set on being on the premier team that I got an offer from the year before. When tryouts came around, I received the news that I didn’t make the premier team that year. I was devastated. I was rejected. My whole world just fell apart. I couldn’t stand to play soccer if I wasn’t on that team. So again, I vowed I would never play soccer again. All of this changed with one little phone call.

I had received a phone call from Ann Arbor Arsenal saying that they would like me on their team. They had scouted me out. I was so happy! I took the offer immediately. This year was an improvement from the year before, but I still felt it wasn’t at my level. The girls just didn’t seem to have the hunger for the sport like I did. I wasn’t very happy with my team that year, but I got a lot of attention

and I got scouted again, but this time inside the same club.

Now I am on a very good Ann Arbor Arsenal team and wouldn’t change a thing about it. We did very well last season and are currently doing very well.

From soccer I had learned to suck it up when life hits you hard. Possibly in the head. I learned to give things a second chance. I learned how to be myself, and never hold back. I learned what true dedication was. I learned how to deal with rejection. I learned how to deal with lack of commitment. I learned how to deal with having not so good coaching. I learned how to keep my cool

and bite my tongue. I learned how to deal with life.

Soccer was my first love and it will always be one of the strongest loves I will ever have. It has done nothing but coach me in life and help me out when I needed it the most. Clearly, without soccer, I would be a different person because it shaped me into the kind of person I am today by giving me lessons in

the great mystery of life.