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Female Football Player Alice Y. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   How are you percieved at school?

I am "that girlwho plays football." Most people say it negatively,though.

How did you handle the pressures orconsequences of being the only girl on the freshmanteam?

I pretended to be strong when people madecomments; I acted as if it didn't bother me. But when I gothome from a long day of school and practice, I'd occasionallybreak down into tears.

Were you able to acceptthe pressures and consequences? How?

I had no choicebut to accept. With the pressure of everyone wanting me toquit - I had to prove them wrong. I basically had no choicebut to stay, unless I wanted to be a laughingstock.

How did you feel overall?

I justaccepted being the only girl - there's nothing I could doabout it. If I can't accept it, why should I be in thesituation in the first place?

Why did you choose football?

I've played football since elementaryschool and most of my friends were, and still are, male. Ifelt most comfortable with football. All in all, i t's myfavorite sport.

What position(s) have youplayed?

I played three-back, occasionally two-back, andcorner-back. When I was younger, I used to be a guard until Igot too small for that position.

Were youharassed?

I was harassed big time. There were a coupleof guys on my team who just decided to hate me without evenknowing me. They thought I was invading theirmanliness.

How did you see yourself?

I sawmyself as someone desperately trying to hold onto something Ilove. Pretend there was a little boy who loved playing withdolls. As he got older, it wasn't right for him to play withdolls, according to society. He still tries to play with thembut eventually it be-comes too strange and awkward, eventhough he still has the desire to play. Instead of giving up,I hold on.

Has playing football changed yourlife?

I have learned how to have more patience withothers.

Were you able to keep up with the guysduring practices? Was it more difficult for you to do certainroutines?

Some parts were difficult, because I'm not astall as the other players, but I get around it. Strength-wise,I could accomplish everything they did. I just workedharder.

Do you ever feel the need to"prove" women can accomplish anything mencan?

No, girls know exactly what they're doing. If onegirl does something, it doesn't mean every girl can. Some guyscan't play football, either. Certain people can do certainthings.You don't have to prove yourself to people; most of thetime you prove it to yourself.

Who hassupported you playing football?

Absolutely nobody. Noone encouraged me. They thought I was crazy. When I wasyounger, it was okay but as I grew, they discouraged it moreand more. I come from an Asian family, where the men arebasically masters and the girls quiet workers. I was breakingthe silent law. The rule was there, but I didn't acknowledgeit.

Now that you have successfully completed your firstyear of high school football, what kind of treatment did youreceive from your teammates?

Some of the guys and I arereally close because of football, but others just seem to hateme. Even boys from other schools, I found out, make fun of me.They don't even know me.

Do the people whodoubted your ability treat you differently since yousuccessfully completed the football season?

Allthe guys I was close to knew I had the ability to play. Thepeople who hated my guts seem to hate me more.

How did the school, teammates and coaches react?

In middle school when I tried to play, the coaches had all theteachers try to discourage me. In high school though, it wasdifferent. The coaches were pretty nice. One coach warned mestraight-up that even if I can take it physically, I need tobe prepared to take it emotionally and mentally, and that washard.

Do you plan to continue playing footballthroughout high school?

I'm not sure yet. I might playone more year, but I'm really small compared to the otherplayers. Playing varsity football would be extremely dangerousfor me.

Do you see yourself playingpro-football one day?

No way. Any pro sport isoverrated. Even if a person loves football as much as I do,it's slightly stupid if they start playing for money. Soon,people play just for money instead of for the love

ofthe sport.

You have proved, in my view, thatwomen can accomplish things men can do. How do you feel aboutthis?

It's great, but someone doesn't have to provethis. If you really want to do something, you, yourself, willknow you can do it.

Do you change with the guysor do you have a private changing quarter?

I had alocker in the boy's locker room, but I only use it to store myhelmet. The boys' lockers are wider than the girl's, so youcan store more gear. I change in the girls' lockerroom.

Who is your role model? How has he or sheinfluenced you?

I never really had a role model - I'vebeen pretty much independent.

During football,were you forced to change physically?

I started to liftweights. I already ate well and exercised. The only differenceis that I built up muscle.

What are yourstrengths or weaknesses as a football player?

Since I'mnot as big as the guys, which is a weakness, I learned how todeal with special situations, how to tackle people right andhow to get through tough spots.

How do youwant people to see you?

As just another person wholoves to play football.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

hello84 said...
Dec. 20, 2009 at 7:20 pm
I'm a 3 year veteran of playing football as a girl on an all boys league, from 6th grade to 8th. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had! I'm not sure what her point was that playing football was such a horrible experience and nobody supported her then why did she play? Nobody made her. Sure I had coaches from opposing teams not accept a girl playing in their league, but that didn't stop me, it motivated me. She is making this sound like she was going through torture... (more »)
 
dkA.M said...
Nov. 28, 2009 at 1:56 pm
THANK YOU! I love this article...... It is uplifting for upcoming girl athletes five stars =)
 
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