So lets take a minute to discuss Soccer. One of my goals for myself was to join this sport because I thought it would be a fun and easy way to meet people and squeeze in a little exercise. I wasn't big into sports (besides dance) when I was in school. This means that I only half-assed it in gym, and although I managed to maintain a B (?? not too sure how) throughout the years, I never excelled in any sport. I also was never involved in other summer sports in my youth. This means when I joined soccer I knew 2 things: Get the ball and kick it in the net of the other team.
Yeah, I know I wasn't the greatest. But I tried HARD every week. It got frustrating at times, team members yelling different things that I should be doing when I was on the field, but I learned the basics of how to set myself up and I got quite a bit better since my first game.
We had our last game of the season this past week. I scored (!!!) my second goal! It was exciting despite losing 5-2. We ended up being 2nd overall in the tier, which I thought was pretty good. I asked the team how I could join the outdoor league in the summer and the ladies were nice enough to tell me that there was a meeting coming up and an email would be sent out soon.
I was excited to go out and buy some cleats, and learn how to play outdoor! That was, until I recieved this email:
"Hey Amie,Woah. That kind of threw me for a loop. This is Tier 3. The lowest tier in the league. And they are telling me I'm not good enough to be on their RECREATIONAL team?
So there have been some concerns brought to me by the team before the of the outdoor season this year, one of them being the ability of our team to be really competitive. I think that you are a really awesome team player, and your dedication and cheerleader attitude really bring a lot to the team. However, I also feel that your skill level is not yet at the level that the team is currently looking at for our upcoming seasons; therefore we will not be asking you to play with us this season. You have a lot of potential, and I think that you could easily learn a lot more and hone your skills better with a less competitive team. If you would like to be placed on the list of players looking for a team, you can send an email with your information to email@example.com. Thanks again for your committment to the team this past year, and good luck on your soccer future!"
It felt a little bit like I was smacked in the face. I was one of the quickest members of the team. I was definitely among the top 5 for fittest. I brought it up, at every. single. game. that I wanted to practice, but no one else was dedicated enough to join me. Fuck, we didn't even have a COACH.
I cried a bit. Matthias hugged me. After we got back together he came and watched every game and he always said that I was one of the better players of the team despite my lack of crazy foot skills.
I wrote back asking if this was applicable to indoor next season and she responded with a "Yes, most likely." Should I mention that only 7 players made it out to the last game? We barely had enough to play. And here I am "not good enough."
Alas, I am team-less.
Is that going to stop me?
You know, it would be really easy to quit. To say, yeah, I didn't like it too much. Not tell anyone what really happened. Leave the "shame" out of it. But that would be a lie. I had fun when I was playing, despite not being the best. I liked running after the ball, trying my hardest to get better. I wasn't competing against anyone else. I was out there for me. It was a symbol of how far I have come. The 190lb lazy Amie would never join organized sports. The 130lb active Amie finds fun in everything active. Large, Average, or Small, there will always be people in life who will try and make you feel like you aren't good enough. They will only be right if you let them be.
I can totally reflect and see how frustrating it would be for seasoned soccer players to try and explain to a novice how the game works when all you are doing is playing games and not practicing. It is equally as frustrating as trying to figure out the game when you can't practice.
I already emailed the Association with my contact information to join an outdoor team. I play soccer because it's fun. Not because I want to win or compete. I am hopefully going to be picked up by a team that actually has a coach and who practices.
I shall bring my cheerleader attitude to a new team, one that might accept me more, and regardless of how we do in the season I will learn, become a better healthier person, and know in my heart that competition isn't what is important, having a good time is.