Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Thinking back to the first time I recall being very happy with my team draws me to my early soccer days. After playing my first season of AYSO soccer I entered my second season expecting nothing but more but fun times meeting friends and playing soccer. This second season I was on the purple cyclones, coached by my friends dad, this team was purely recreational and all about fun. To this day I still remember the first day of practice at The Farm, which was a big complex with about 9 or 10 soccer fields. Of course with everything else going on between school and homework I arrived 15 minutes late to the first day! Not such a good first impression but I quickly joined the team and got inline for the shooting drill we were doing. I remember watching all the other kids in front of me taking shots at the goal and thinking “I know I can kick the ball harder than any of my friends”. When it was my turn I stepped up to the ball and blasted the ball right past the keep into the upper right corner. My coach unaware of what type of player I was before this was shocked and said something along the lines of “damn Ethan where did you learn to do that?” I laugher and returned to the back of the line, at this time in my life being only 12 years old I had a feeling that whatever competitor you put me up against I would be better, stronger and faster than them. I think this is why I always loved playing sports as a kid because it was always fun for me running past everyone and making all the goals/ touchdowns. As the season progressed I couldn’t wait for the next practice where I could hangout with all my friends some new and some old.
Practice at this time in my life was even more fun than the games because I got to talk and joke around with everyone while still enjoying playing the game. Don’t get me wrong I still loved the games but practice was more enjoyable because I got to bond with everyone. As we neared the end of the season I had became closer with a bunch of new friends and gained a great deal of recognition on the field. The next season I was asked my a number of club coaches to come tryout for the team, my mom always wanting the best for me encouraged me to go tryout for fun and see what happens. I tried out for a couple teams but this was the first time I noticed how much more competitive the next level was. I was offered a scholarship to play on a club team LBSC and was on my way to the next level. Everyday one of the teammates dad would drive from Laguna Beach to Costa Mesa to pick me up and take me to practice. I remember almost everyday falling asleep on the 30 minutes drive to practice. Although I didn’t like time commitment too much I found the competition at this level so much higher. Our first game of the year we got crushed I don’t remember the score but it was really bad, our defenders could not get the ball out of the backfield. After this my coach Andy switched me to defend since I was one of the fastest and biggest kids on the team. The next game I started on defense and felt as if I stopped at least 100 attempts from the other team scoring. For the rest of the year this was my job, since no one else could stop the guys from scoring I had to stop almost every attacker from scoring. Mind you at this time our offense was not scoring any goals so we would either tie the game, loose, or occasionally win a game. I think this was the first time I began to dislike going to games. I was not having fun anymore and every game I was the one everyone relied on the stop the other team from scoring. I remember one Saturday morning we had a game but I told my mom I was not going because it wasn’t fun to me anymore. That game we lost 10-0 and my coach showed up at my house that afternoon and talked me back on the team. From then on I didn’t look at soccer as fun but as a commitment I had to for fill. If I didn’t play we for sure lost the game and I didn’t want all that responsibility at the time. I was 12 years old and had grown to like soccer because it was fun and now it was not fun to me.
Writing this paper I keep remembering countless situations at practice where I wanted to just walk off the field and go home, quit the team. After 2 seasons in the club I finally told my mom I was not going to play anymore. I took a season off then a little later joined another well rounded club team with other players that could also score! But instead of being happy having other good players around me I missed the feeling of all the attention being on me. This made me work even harder to strive to become the best player and stand out. I think these early soccer experiences molded me into the athlete I am today because I know what I feels like to be average and I know what It feels like to be the best.