I have been with my current soccer team for two years. It has been two years of joyous wins and some painful losses, but all in all I have had the time of my life.
A couple months ago I was offered a spot on Vancouver Islands High Performance League team, ‘Wave’. This team is supposed to be made up of the best girls on Vancouver Island, however when the first tryouts were held to create this team for my age group none of the best girls came out and since then this team has really struggled.
However, these past few months this team has convinced some of the best girls on the island to join. I realized that this team has so much potential. If I don’t join now they won’t be asking me to join next season and I won’t be able to get to the higher level of soccer that I aspire to reach
Before me was a difficult decision.
Option 1: Leave the team that has been a family to me and join a completely new group of girls and risk the fact that this team could do very poorly in the league and I could have made a huge mistake.
Option 2: Stay with my team but lose the chance to challenge myself against stronger teams across BC and Canada, open up windows for higher level teams, and get noticed by important coaches.
After lots of thinking and talking to my coach, parents and friends, I decided to join Wave. I realized that I really really really want to go further in soccer. If I really want to do so, I will have to take scary risks that make me slightly uncomfortable and challenge myself.
This past weekend I was in Vancouver for a soccer tournament with my team, the last time I would play with them. Yesterday I had to say goodbye to playing with my fifteen best friends. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. These girls are there for me on the worst of days, and each and every one of them knows just how to make me smile. I have a special connection to these girls that switching teams will definitely not ruin.
My coach this season is the big sister I never had. She helped me navigate through some tough times, and was always there to give me a big hug if I needed one. She took me to get redbarn sandwiches after training, convinced me to believe in myself, that ‘I can and I will’, and taught me how to let things go like ‘water off a ducks back’. She has made me the leader, soccer player, and confident person I am now. I am so grateful that I had the chance to meet her and I know we will always stay as close as sisters.
One huge thing that my coaches have been telling us since day one, is that we can and we will. We might be running suicides, or fighting for a comeback against a top team but our coaches always tell us that we can and we will. Whenever facing something challenging and I feel like giving up, I take a breath and remember what my coaches have taught me. I can and I will. I might be taking a penalty kick in an important game, or taking a difficult exam but I can and I will and nobody can stop me.
I don’t think I will ever laugh as hard or smile as much as I will when I’m with my team, I’m really going to miss that. From organizing team warm ups with my co-captain, to sneaking McDonalds on the busride home from Comox, these girls have all made me the weirdo I am today. I wish Penbay the best of luck next year, and I promise to come to all the games I can!