The amount of time I spend day dreaming of playing such a beautiful sport alongside The Canadian national team is pretty insane.
Soccer is a sport I have put so much time and effort into since I could walk.
Every shot, pass, or step I take, I always have my dream of being on the national team in the back of my head.
I am constantly looking for ways to improve my skill as a football player.
Months ago, I was looking through my emails and came across one that made my heart jump.
I was invited to the National Whitecaps Girls Residential Camp, in Burnaby. The description stated we would meet and be coached by national team players, learn crucial skills, stay where the national teams train, and live the life of a pro for a week.
Sounds like my dream world.
Alongside a few other girls from Vancouver Island, we travelled to Burnaby and arrived to the Fortius Sport and Health Centre, being greeted by Emma Humphries (New Zealand National player and head of girls Whitecaps), Candace Chapman (played over 100 games for Canada), and a few other coaches.
After standing alongside my island team mates for a few minutes before the camp started, my friends dad came up to us and whispered that Christine Sinclair was having a coffee outside.
For a good five minutes we were convincedhe was joking. We got to the camp fifteen minutes ago there’s no way we were going to meet a national team star just yet… right?
We were quite wrong.
We decided it’d be worth a check and headed downstairs. To our disbelief, ten metres away from us was Christine Sinclair. We got a photo, talked for a bit and I thought I was going to throw up.
I learned so many new skills at this camp, and I really enjoyed that we had equal time on the field and in the classroom. In the classroom we were able to comprehend these new skills better mentally, and on the field we were able to understand them physically.
We were given severally pieces of homework, and took many notes which I really enjoyed. I could’ve done school work about soccer forever!
The environment of the camp really impactedyour performance. The coaches created a friendly, comforting environment which always had room for fun. The players were all so kind and literally just like me. I could’ve stayed at this camp forever.
Everyday had a theme we focused on. Proactive passing and defending, finishing, vision and awareness, and receiving and turning were the main ideas. Because we spent a whole day on each topic, I felt like I took a lot away from each theme more than I would just at a two hour practice that I normally have.
This camp has really opened my eyes to where I want to go in soccer and what’d it be like to achieve my dreams. It has inspired me to work even harder to get where I want to go.
I had one of the best weeks of my life at this camp. From meeting many national players, to laughing until my stomach hurt with girls across the country, I had a blast at this camp and I learned so many new and old important skills.
It may have only been a week long camp, but it really made me realize what I want to achieve and what it will take.
“Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don’t let anyone limit your dreams.” -Donovan Bailey