I had gotten cut from soccer freshman year and lost all motivation to play. I cried because it was the sport I loved and enjoyed the most. The euphoric feeling of scoring a goal was second to none. It was indescribable. So when I made the team junior year, I was ecstatic.
My sophomore year was bad for me. I was close to hitting 200 lbs, and the only thing I was motivated to do was play video games. Since I got cut the year prior, I didn’t feel like doing anything athletic, up until I realized that I could become obese and decided to exercise. I made the team that following year.
When I was selected for varsity reserve at the beginning of junior year, I was a bit bummed out, but mostly happy. My skills had drastically decreased since I had spent more time doing cardio than practicing. My coach introduced himself as Coach Schnese when he came to meet us.
I realized that this team was better for me than varsity. His way of coaching was that if I put effort into practice, I would be able to start games. Of course, I wasn’t very good to start off and I would be unsatisfied with my skill level.
One day Coach Schnese saw my attitude and came over to talk to me. I was angry at myself for not being at the level I wanted to be, but he came to me and told me ways I could get better, and just uplifted me to do better. As I tried to do better every practice, I started to get more minutes, and my skill level improved. His advice from before really ended up being true. I was trying my best and started to play more. I ended up scoring my only goal against Germantown, and although it was just one, it had lots of meaning. It wasn’t just my goal, it was Schnese’s goal too. He helped me never give up and continue putting in the effort. After the game, he texted me and congratulated me, which was one of the best things I experienced. Being praised by someone at a higher level and knowledge made me feel incredibly happy.
Senior year came, and I was selected for varsity reserve once again. I was, again, a bit bummed out for not being placed on varsity, but I was happy to be with familiar faces once again. A new coach was introduced, Coach Troy, and was intrigued to see how we would fare with two coaches. I was a decent player that year but realized something needed to change so that I would get more playing time, and get better. One day, I somehow convinced both coaches to let me play goalie for practice. From that point on, I played goalie for the rest of the year and was the starter for multiple games, besides the first game of a tournament, because of a red card I had received the game before. Even though the coaches were mad at the red card, they quickly pushed it aside and consoled me after I had gotten super frustrated at myself. It taught me that stupid mistakes can happen, but you have to put others before yourself.
Schnese and Troy both believed in me from the beginning, and I am happy to have had them as coaches. They helped me get better, fall in love with goalkeeping, and become a better person. I appreciate all they have done for me and the program, and for the impact they had on the team.
Allan J Mendoza