I believe that it is my role as the goalkeeper to be a leader on the field, whether in lacrosse or soccer. I must communicate, be level-headed and even-keeled, and always look ahead and not back. This is true for both soccer and lacrosse
Since 7th grade, I have worked to increase my communication. This involves not only being willing to speak loudly on the field, but also to understand the play of both our team as a whole and the opposition to see attacks developing. This year, my FC Stars coach said she felt I was like another coach on the field, helping position the defense and maintaining shape. To do this, I must be a student of the game, understanding it beyond my own responsibilities and techniques, but learning our different formations and the tactics that accompany them. With communicating I have worked to be a good teammate. Often asked to play for teams I didn't know, I work to learn names quickly, connect with players, and offer encouragement on the field in addition to the instruction. This way, they know that my command from the back is about teamwork, not scolding them about missed plays.
I work hard to avoid seeming stressed on the field. If the leader in the back seems frantic, that will affect the entire team. Even at times of urgency, I want to convey composure and not frantic energy to my team. Whether it is times that I must communicate about covering, or helping them slow down play after a save, I want my play and my attitude to be a positive energy, rather than contributing to my teammates being more rattled.
As a goalie, I work hard to avoid negative emotions. This is particularly true after being scored upon. Goalies must have a short memory in terms of mistakes and they must help their teammates feel the same. Evidencing frustration or anger will only bring my teammates down. Instead, it is about pulling the ball out of the net and moving forward. Dwelling on past mistakes will only make more of them likely as players will be more cautious and tentative, something that a defender and a goalie cannot afford.
Sport in general is a great teacher. It teaches discipline and patience, commitment and teamwork, and finally resilience. Since middle school, I have wanted to play sports in college. It has taken a vision over several years, discipline to practice, and patience to acquire the skills necessary to compete at a higher level. It has taken commitment to others and the teamwork necessary to succeed together. Finally, it has taught be resilience, whether to persist through injury, losses, or disappointments.