Every praise to one of them felt like a lack of praise for me. A teammate’s goal wasn’t a goal for the team, it was one more goal she had scored and I hadn’t.
When I first started cub soccer, I was on the fourth string team. We lost every game that year; I’m not even sure if we scored a goal. But it didn’t matter, I loved it. Going to practice was my favorite part of the day. I had absolutely no technique or tactical knowledge; it was all just for fun.
Years went by – I was finishing middle school and starting high school – and somewhere along the line I lost the sport that was my passion; to coaches, to parents yelling on the sideline, to teammates who put soccer before everything in their life, to my own need to please everyone around me but mostly to the unrealistic and unattainable expectations I created for myself.