Emily Scott is the author of “The Girl’s Guide – To College Soccer”. Emily graduated from Ball State University in 2019 with a Major in Organizational Communication and Minor in Marketing. At Ball State, she played four years of NCAA Division I soccer as a forward/outside midfielder. Emily is now the Social Media Manager and Administrator for PS90 Soccer and SoccerGrlProbs Camps. She lives in Chicago, Illinois and still plays soccer in women’s league’s whenever she gets the opportunity. She hopes that with these blogs, she can take her own experiences along with others who have played college soccer, and use them to help future players in any way possible. For questions/comments, feel free to reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org .
“Top Ten – Things Soccer Can Teach You”
Sports teach all of us so many different things. It’s important to realize that these things are so much more than just related to your time playing. They follow you and define your personality and your character. Every time you step on the field you’re not just playing. You’re being molded into the person that you are destined to become. Here are the top ten things that soccer taught me.
1. Be passionate about something: Your sport is most likely the first thing you will truly be passionate about growing up. When you’re young, you probably tried out a few different sports. If you’re anything like me, nothing seemed to stick. That was until I found soccer. Was it becauseI had way too much energy as a child, and it was the only sport that actually wore me out? Possibly. But it was the first time that I felt passion about something. After school, I couldn’t wait to go to practice and play the sport I loved. Weekends were the best – I got to go play multiple games in one day? I couldn’t believe how much fun I got to have. It’s so important to have things in your life that you are passionate about and finding your sport is the bestway to discover that passion.
2. Be outgoing: It can be hard as a child to come out of your shell and meet new people. Sports completely immerse you in anew atmosphere with people you have quite possibly never met before. It can be overwhelming, but by the end of your first practice, you’ve made 12 new friends. Sports teach you how to communicate with others and create relationships that could last a lifetime.
3. Be proud of yourself and your accomplishments. When you’re young, most likely your sport is the first thing you’ve done that makes you feel really proud of yourself. This is something that needs to be taught so that you can learn to appreciate greatness in yourself. As you get older, it’s so easy to downplay big moments because you don’t want to draw extra attention to yourself. But it’s important to know that sometimes, you deserve a little recognition and that it’s okay to get it. As a child, even just earning a participation trophy makes you think, “Hey, I worked hard for this! And someone recognized it.” It may be small, but it follows you as you grow and get older.
4. Respect the competition: If sports teaches you anything, it should be this. I cannot count the amount of times that we were playing a team with a “worse record” who was “not as good” as we were. Andddd,those were often the worst games we’d play. When you don’t respect your competition, it’s easy to not be at your best. It’s easy to either play down or not be at your greatest potential. You need to go into every game (and as you get older, every day) acknowledging that your competition shouldn’t be seen asa threat, but as a way to improve yourself.
5. How to work with others: You don’t realize how truly important this trait is until you get into high school/college and have to do group projects. At that point, if you’ve never worked together in a group setting, those can be the most difficult experiences of your schooling.Sports teach you to utilize your strengths and balance your weaknesses by benefitting from the strengths of others. They teach you that you don’t have todo it all by yourself.
6. How to handle criticism and rejection: This may be one of the biggest and most important things that sports can teach you.This genuinely affects you as you grow up. It’s important to learn that you’re not always going to be the best at something. But more than that, it’s important to learn that that’s OKAY! If you’re always the best, you have nothing else to work for. Being told how to improve is the best thing for you because you can either choose to acknowledge it and be better or ignore it and stay stagnant. Sports teach you that criticism is meant to help you, not hurt you!
7. How to stay healthy and fit: When you’re young and first starting out playing sports, the last thing on your mind is your health and fitness. As you get older, you start to understand how important it really is. Even if you no longer play soccer or sports anymore,your body and mind know what you can do to get or stay in shape. It’s mucheasier to get in shape by going and playing the sport you love than by trying out a new gym for the first time and not really knowing what you’re doing. While that is also a great option, your sport can be a steppingstone into it.
8. Work hard for something you want: Your whole life, nothing will be given to you. It’s important to learn that lesson while you’re young. Sports teach you that hard work can lead to success. While this is true, it isn’t guaranteed. You can work so hard and still lose that championship game. It’s about how you respond. Hard work teaches you to get back in the gym or on the field and keep going. You may not have won this time,but you know for a fact you’re going to do everything in your power to make sure that you do next time.
9. How to win: Winning is one of the greatest things that comes from sports. Of course, aside from the friendships you make and fun you have. There’s not much that compares to scoring the winning goal in the championship game and hoisting the trophy up with your teammates. Sports teach you how to enjoy these incredible moments. But they also teach you to be humble, and to appreciate the moment. You appreciate the team you played against for giving you their all and making you earn the victory. You appreciate your team for working their hardest for each other. You appreciate your coaches for making sure you were prepared for the game. You appreciate your parents for the sacrifices they make to get you to every practice and to watch your games. Sports teach you how to be a winner in the best way.
10. How to lose: Possibly the most important thing sports can teach someone. You learn that you’re not always going to be the best and that that’s okay. You learn how to shake hands with the winning team after they have just beaten you and to tell them they had a good game. It’s a humbling experience that shapes you into the person you become. Losing disappointing. No one likes to do it, but it’s the way you react that is so telling about your character.And it should put some more fire into your heart to push you to become the best you can be.
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