Have you ever dedicated yourself to perfect something so that you’re able to continue your journey in life to do bigger and better things?
The beautiful sport, soccer, has been in my life since I was the age of three, and it’s something that I’ve fallen in love with. Although I played many other sports growing up like baseball and basketball, I decided to quit those sports and focus on soccer. It was an extremely hard decision, but it was the best for me. I don’t regret it at all, and I’m happy I made that decision. The grind and dedication that I put in this sport daily is never easy, and it helped shape me into the person I am today.
I decided to pursue my dream of being a collegiate soccer player at the age of 15. According to scholarshipstats.com, just about 7% of high school athletes continue their careers into college. It was set in stone that this was going to be a hard task for me. Unfortunately, I thought it was going to be an easy task, but it turns out it was completely different. Going into my freshman year tryouts for my high school team, I was nervous and scared. I was nervous and scared because I didn’t run all summer, nor did I play soccer. This put me at a disadvantage compared to the other kids in my class who I knew put in way more work than I did. I did awful on all of my fitness test and came in last on every test. Luckily, I was able to make JV and get in shape for the whole season. I was extremely embarrassed and thought that if I put in a little more work before next season, I would make varsity.
I decided to join another club team after that season ended to give me a chance to make varsity and also get more looks to have a shot at college ball. But what I didn’t realize was that we were only practicing two days a week instead of five, so I needed to put in more work in order to get better. I still thought that only playing two days a week was good enough for me. That summer came along, and I was preparing myself for my sophomore year tryouts. I did just a little bit more than I did my freshman year, but it still wasn’t good enough. Luckily, I made varsity and got a decent amount of playing time which made me better. Making varsity as a sophomore pushed me to become better in every way.
After that high school season ended, I realized that only training two days a week wasn’t going to cut it or make me better at all. I decided that from here on out, I was going to grind six days a week in order to achieve this huge goal I had of mine. I decided that I was going to run every day that I wasn’t at practice with my club team and also make sure that I was getting touches with a soccer ball every day. I also watched my favorite players on TV to see what they were doing in games so I could improve mine. I did this consistently throughout the rest of the year, and it made a huge difference. I went from a lazy, unmotivated and immature person to a dedicated, hardworking and caring person. Going into my junior year, I turned myself around into one of the most fit kids on my high school team. I destroyed our fitness test and was in the top five for the test. There was no better feeling than beating majority of the kids on my team. My confidence was extremely high, and I had a great preseason. I was extremely happy with this, but realized that I was far from done and needed to work harder than I did before.
Coaches started to reach out to me during my junior season, and I knew the hard work was paying off. I decided to attend a couple of college ID camps in order to play in front of more college coaches. Every coach responded to me with you’re not good enough to play for this program. I decided not to get down on myself and fuel myself with those words of “not being good enough.” I pushed myself harder every day, I was running two to three miles instead of one and getting touches with a ball for at least an hour every day. I committed myself to the grind and I loved it. I loved when people said that I wasn’t good enough to do something, because it only pushed me harder. The grind became more of an obsession and I couldn’t stop.
Senior year came and I was getting looks to play at different schools. After all the hard work and dedication, I decided to choose Stevenson University. Stevenson was the best fit for me, and I decided to go there to be closer to home, closer to my family, while also playing soccer. My dream finally came true because of all the hard work and dedication I decided to put in at the age of 15. Each year I would push myself a little more each day, which helped me in the long run, and I’m forever grateful for it.
There are going to be many setbacks in life that are going to take a lot out of you. Being dedicated to something is never easy and takes a lot of time and effort. Dedication to something such as a sport needs a lot of self-motivation. Without self-motivation you’ll get nowhere in life. Just remember the grind is important, stick to your goals every day and achieve them, and one day you’ll accomplish your dreams.