Ever since I was five, I knew that soccer was what I wanted to do. I even quit dance to focus all of my attention on playing.

From the age of eight through my senior year of high school, I played on a number of different teams. The number of cleats doesn’t quite reach 33, but it may be more than one person would expect. Each team and club that team was a part of taught me something new. Looking back now, it all jumbles together. One thing I won’t forget is the friendships that came from each group of people I played alongside.

Finding a New Team

I remember each time I would head into the first practice with a team completely nervous. It was unfamiliar territory, and I was going in without knowing anyone. By the end of the hour and a half, there would be one or two people who I could easily talk and laugh with.

Leaving one team for another was always hard. The time spent never lasted longer than two years. Each time was harder than the last. The support I had from teammates and parents was appreciated, but it never took away from what I had gained and what I was losing.

Finding a New Me

The constant change between teams has made a huge impact on my life now. Having to put myself out there for every first practice made me become more outgoing than I was, and more willing to hold conversations with people I don’t know. This is just one of the invaluable lessons I have taken away from my career as a soccer player.

Teamwork is something that will never go away, and the relationships with teammates are crucial and unlike any other. You couldn’t ignore a person if you didn’t along. You had to be able to read everyone’s mind to know exactly where they were going and where they wanted the ball to be played.

Finding the Value in Others

Working together toward a common goal creates an energy unlike any other feeling. You can see it everyone’s eyes that they want that prize as much as the person standing next to them. Standing together in a circle as teammates shows that everyone is in it together, fighting for one another. We are there to help each other up when we fall, and will work hard for each other until the final whistle.

There truly is no feeling that even comes close in comparison.