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A look back on 10 beautiful years of soccer.

Bennett Moe

18 August 2009

The Day That Changed My Life

I took my first step on the lush, green grass and my cleats sunk down deep into the dirt; I had great traction. The blazing sun turned my cheeks a flushed crimson as sweat dribbled down my freckled face. Heat was drawn to my little body because of my black jersey, black shorts, black socks, and black cleats. I was a magnet for sultriness. Parents cheered as their little babies were about to begin a love for something that would last a lifetime. The referee blew his piercing whistle with a screeching high pitch and I felt it go through my body; the game had begun. I felt the perfectly round ball at my feet as a dribbled with the best control I knew. The taste of salt trickled in the corners of my mouth as I stuck my tongue out with concentration. Motivation consumed me as I strived to get the ball into the net as soon as possible. I craved the smell of the citrus coming from the oranges that were awaiting my team as our halftime snack; that was everyone’s favorite part. I looked back down at the ball attached to my foot and ran past the other team in baby blue jerseys. I was getting close to the goal. As the ball departed my foot and flew into the net, the parents cheered for me, the coach congratulated me, and my teammates hugged me. I had scored my first goal in a sport I began to love, soccer.

As the clock ticked by, we scored more and more goals. Our hard practices of not paying attention, picking weeds, and flirting with boys on our co-ed team had somehow paid off. By halftime, we were up five to zero. Halftime was a time to rest, eat oranges, and drink juice boxes. Of course, the coach would give us a pep talk and tell us things to remember while we were playing, but no one really paid attention; we were only five years old, after all. We were all just out there because our parents wanted us to be active and be in a social environment. Our team was named the Fire Ants, and we looked just like the pesky little bugs with our black jerseys accentuated with red numbers. I loved soccer already.

After the first game, with a winning score of ten to one, the Fire Ants were jubilant and ready for our next practice session. I was mainly just looking forward to seeing the cute boy with dark brown hair, but my parents would never know that. With my dad being the coach, I was one of the best players on the team, even at five, because we had played soccer in the family room since I could walk. My dad breathed, lived, and dreamed about soccer; it was his life since he was fourteen. Obviously, he wanted me to start out with the same love he had developed but at a much younger age. He succeeded.

I continued to play soccer with my dad coaching me until I was ten. That year was the first year I was coached by someone who wasn’t my father, and I was on a travel team rather than a recreational team. It was much different, considering my coach eventually got fired for making us little girls run miles, sprints, and complete grueling workouts. One girl even broke her leg while running through the torturous trails after sprinting around the baseball fields. Being on the top team of a traveling select soccer team was a lot of work as a ten-year-old girl, but I still loved soccer. Soccer became second nature and something I loved to play. I loved the freedom of being able to run down the field with one goal in mind, winning. The feeling of victory is one that cannot be described other than pure satisfaction and elation.

That first game when I was only five years old changed my life in so many ways. It showed me how to love something other than family and friends. I loved a game more than any other thing I ever played, and it made me so happy. I made childhood friends, but I also made friendships that I know will last a lifetime. Soccer has taught me about myself in the fact that I can push myself to accomplish things that I want to. Also, I learned how to manage my time between school and soccer. The sport has also kept me out of trouble since I have always had something to do.

This is the first year I am not playing soccer since I was able to walk. I still love it, but I want to really focus on school my senior year and also find a job. One reason I quit was because I was not planning on playing soccer in college because I want to go to a big college and I would only be able to play at a small college. I can definitely see myself playing on a recreational team in college though. Soccer is a sport that started out as something my dad encouraged but turned into a love of something so much more than a game. The first soccer game I played was a pivotal moment in my young life that began a journey of amazing life experiences including traveling for games, making friends, and bonding with my dad over a mutual love of soccer.  

Bennett is now one of our trainers at Soccer Dynamics along with her siblings, McKenna and Walker.

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