From the start of training in September, the varsity team put in the work to get into top shape. Each day we had a different workout; each day we had to be conscious of the food we were eating; each day we worked until we couldn’t work anymore because we wanted to achieve a different outcome this season.
I remember having to wake up at 5:30 am for our Hell Week coming to practice at 6 am in order to end before first period and then return to training again after school. The amount of dedication we all put into this program showed at every practice and game. After we started preseason and had groups within the team form, based on who got along with whom better, it became harder to work as one unit. If we had come together earlier in the season, we would have dominated more games. With the issues that developed, we fell short of winning games that we should have won had we been more united.
It was hard to feel included when we were separated into starters and non starters. If we were mixed together, the players that excelled in some areas could have better mentored the others. With the separation, tension built which made for poor performance. I didn’t like that some of the girls never played more than five minutes. We were put on the team because someone saw potential in us and for us not to play, but still show up and practice hard became demoralizing, which made putting forth the effort to try at practice or anything else we were doing nearly impossible. If one of us wasn’t doing so well, the team should have come together to help one another. Soccer is a team sport. We didn’t need to be strong individually; we needed to be strong together. We all needed to be rotated into the game to get a feel for what we were doing correctly and on what we needed to improve. This was proven at our last game when players who hadn’t played much of season got the chance to play, and when they did, they made good plays.
In spite of having some issues with one another, we tried our hardest to perform to our own and our coach’s expectations. Coach Freddy Wheeler always told us how he believed we were great and that we were going to do great things for the program. In some ways, he was right. This year we were more organized in fundraising and communicating about events soccer was hosting. This year we came out with a different record because of the hard work we put in, but not all of us got to play in the games.
The program became stronger and more organized, but the team that walks onto the field needs to improve its connections with one another before they make history again.