This I Believe

James - La Grange, Illinois
Entered on February 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports

Family Support

Ever since I was three years old, I have been playing soccer. Soccer has always been a large part of my family. My Dad grew up in England playing soccer, and he has taught my brother and I how to play and love the sport. Now, I play highly competitive soccer on one of the best teams in the state. I would not have made it this far without the support of my family. This I believe.

When I was three, I began playing AYSO soccer. My Dad was my coach for five years straight, encouraging me and helping me better my skills. Every Saturday morning, the rest of my family would be sitting on the sideline, cheering me on. Once I got to 4th grade, I began playing traveling club soccer. I had a few years with ups and downs but I steadily grew better. Now, I play for the Windy City Pride U-16 Elite team. It is ranked very highly in the state. Even though my Dad is not the coach, he still supports me. He comes to every practice and game to cheer me on. Before each game, he gives me a talk. He tells me what I should try to do, and most importantly that I will do fine. These few words help calm my nerves and allow me to demonstrate my true potential. Then, after the games, he tells me that I did well and explains, to me, what I am doing wrong. My family does not only support me mentally, but also financially. So far in this year alone, I have already been to soccer tournaments in Pheonix, Arizona and Memphis, Tennessee. I also have planned tournaments in Kansas, New Jersey, and other tournaments in Illinois. These costs along with uniform fees and payments to play on the team, add up very quickly. My family is spending thousands of dollars just to let me play soccer for one year.

I believe that with support from family members, there is more that can be achieved. I am very grateful for all the support my family has given me in the last 15 years, because I would not be where I am without it.