My girl is 5' 3" tall. When we played club games, almost everyone else on the field was a good 4" taller than her. A taller girl means longer legs, longer legs means greater speed. After he cut her, the coach told me that the only thing that held her back was her speed. She just couldn't keep up with the pace of the game.
She was distraught when she learned that she hadn't made the team. She'd missed out on club teams before, but she'd never had a rejection like this one. She really wanted it and had worked like crazy for it. She wondered if all of her work had been a waste of time. As her dad and her biggest fan, I had to suppress the pain I felt and help her pull lessons out of the wreckage all the while letting her know that I couldn't be prouder of her or love her more. I had hoped that her soccer career would end with a celebration of her senior year participation on the varsity team. Instead, it's ended in her junior year before the season even begins.
Among the lessons I'm hoping to help her learn are these:
- How good you have to be to rise to the top of your field
- Hard work doesn't guarantee success, but the lack of hard work guarantees failure
- Deliberate practice works - she saw this in the dramatic change in her skills when she started using it
- Life was richer and more passionate when she was pursuing her goal even if she didn't make it
- Eventually you may be limited by your innate abilities, but you can go a lot farther than others expect through hard work. Her last two seasons of club ball had her facing off against opponents much larger than her and she was always able to hold her own
- You can outsmart many of your limitations. She played outside defender and while she was never able to leap frog the midfielder in front of her and play offensive ball, she learned how to play defense so that her lack of speed wasn't much of a disadvantage
|On the plus side, she went full Cheick Tiote on a bunch of girls during tryouts and flattened them. She may not be fast, but, by God, you know she's on the field.|