Soccer is more than a sport, it is a passion. I come from a family that revolves around sports. Soccer is the biggest sport in my life. I have grown up in a family where you eat, sleep, and breathe soccer. I was influenced by this sport ever since I had learned to walk. If I was not playing or watching my dad and brother play soccer games, I was watching games with my dad on T.V. I grew up watching my dad coach many teams until I was old enough for him to coach me. He made it clear to me that in a game, he was a coach first and a dad second.
As time went by, I would be in the back yard or the basement kicking a ball around. As I grew up, my dad instilled in me a competitive nature and a love of this game. When I would get upset or overwhelmed at home, I would get a ball and go find a place to practice. As I kicked the ball, worked on my dribbling, and shot at a small goal my dad bought for me, I felt all of my worries melt away. When I started, soccer was merely a sport but soon it became an escape for me.
The summer of my 8th grade year I was becoming increasingly stressed. I was worried about making my high school soccer team. In my mind I kept thinking I was not fast enough, my passes were not good enough, and I was not good enough. The very thing I love the most was now making me feel imprisoned with doubt.
One summer night, I looked out into the backyard that held so many memories of me kicking soccer in with my dad. I realized that I became so competitive that I had forgotten about my love of the game. That night I went out into my backyard and practiced soccer. This time I didn’t think about me possibly failing. My only thought was “God I love this sport”. Once I stopped thinking about the chance of failure, the relaxing feeling came back. My prison had once again become my paradise.
When High soccer tryouts started, I played my heart out. I worked all summer for this tryout and I was not going to fail. I had some thoughts that this kid or that kid was better than me, but I quickly expelled those thoughts from my head. When tryouts ended and I saw the roster, I looked for my name. I finally saw my name at the very bottom of the list. We practiced every day after school. I would practice on my own on the weekends. When I was walking to the field for my first game, I thought to myself “God I love this sport”. I believe that because I see soccer as a part of who I am, it is not just a sport, it is a passion.