I have been playing organized and competitive soccer since the age of 7. For me, the sport is not merely a pastime, but it is something which I have poured thousands of hours into, and it has helped me develop as a person, as well as a player. To leave the sport is a thought which I fear having to one day confront. I can honestly say that I have a passion for the sport, and if I am not playing it, I am likely watching it on tv.
As a player, I would describe myself as technical, and tactically aware. I know my limitations, and the club coaches I have had know me for rarely losing possession of the ball. My technicality comes from my early years playing with opponents that were bigger and stronger than I was, as I hit puberty late. I was, at times, the smallest player on the field. I had to learn how to release the ball, and create space for my teammates, as opposed to over-dribbling. I, unlike many of my teammates, could not get away with making technical errors and recovering the ball through brute force and strength. I had to learn to not lose the ball in the first place. Today, I am 5'10, and while I still am not the tallest on the field, size is no longer the problem it once was. I feel that the combination of my past experiences of having to learn to quickly release the ball and my current size have made me into an effective player, capable of withstanding pressure and the physical tests of my opponents, but still preferring to move the ball quickly, and select when I will take a risk such as dribbling.
Another aspect of my soccer identity is my discipline and ability to act as part of a team. I am constantly communicating with my teammates on the field, and doing anything I can to help the team function effectively. I genuinely see myself as an individual as secondary to my team, and I am never content to score a nice goal and still lose a game. I believe that I have the work ethic, desire, and discipline to play at a collegiate level, and despite my preference to move the ball quickly, I am not afraid to take risks and fail. I have learned over the years that it is through failure that as a soccer player and as a student I can improve.