Sixth grade was the first year that I ever played field hockey. I was at a new school and knew that I needed to make more friends.
The first practice was in July. No one on the team had even held a stick before. It was hot and humid and sweat was dripping down my face before we started running laps around the field. After one time around the field everyone was out of breath. The next day we had practice again and everyone complained that they were all sore and no one wanted to be there because they were so tired and unfit.
We began playing games at the end of summer training. We all wanted to win the first game, but our goalie overheated and we had to forfeit. There were twelve more scheduled games to prove that we knew how to play. We ended up losing all of them. The other teams not only had more skills, but we realized that they had been playing together since the second or third grade. No one on my team even scored a goal the entire regular season, but we all stuck with it because we wanted to get better, we were determined to win, and we had become friends.
The first tournament game was our last shot at winning a game that year. We were ranked last going into the tournament. We played the number two team in our league and we fought as hard as we could the entire game. When the game went into double overtime, everyone started getting nervous.
At the end of the second overtime, the score was still 0-0, which meant we had to go into flicks. The other team was prepared to beat us, but our coach prepared us to hit flicks. I was one of five players chosen to do a flick. We beat the other team because our players made four out of five flicks that night, including me!
What I learned from that experience was that to be rewarded with a win, you have to be prepared, work hard, keep trying and never give up, and you can’t let others who think they are better than you to get in your head. By the end of our 8th grade season we won 10 out of 13 games and scored more goals than any other team in the league 63 including one by a defensive mid, me!
Coaches affirm me for thinking and playing wisely, building community among my teammates, and showing up to make a difference consistently.
My goal is to play high school and college field hockey at schools that fit me well athletically and academically. My plan is to apply what I have learned and to increase my speed and skills as a player in club and high school field hockey, to build up my teams, and continue to grow as a student and person.