Running up and down the field. I felt like a bullet, shot from a gun. Tryouts; a way to determine if the highest team is right for your skill level. A way to find out if you are able to play with your old team, or a better one. Playing on a turf field that burned when you would fall on your knees. Where blood would seep out of the cuts that came from the blades of fake grass and leave your knees covered in tiny bits and pieces of rubber. The smell of hard work and sweat filled your nose with an aroma. The smell filled your head with determination. I guess tryouts determined if I could be a soccer player.
Hours wasted on shooting, skills and endurance. Coaches everywhere watching your every move.
“Jordan, turn your hips!”
“I need to see more effort Jordan!”
“I need more power!”
“Give me more attitude!”
“Jordan, do you want this spot on the team, or do you just want to go home?” The only words that came out of their mouths made you feel less confident about yourself. Climbing a wall that never ended. Trying to reach a tree branch that elevated above the ground. Their standards stood higher than Mt. Everest. I still needed to earn my spot, or say goodbye to this team.
Goal here, and goal there. I caught on fire. My teammates high-fiving me as the hours flew by. I showed no mercy, and I needed to show my effort. I wanted to let the coach know I still wanted my spot on the team. I put my whole heart into this tryout. But I soon realized that ultimately it was her decision. Was my tryout going to be enough to convince her that I was good enough?
Weeks went by after tryouts and the tension grew like ivy on a house. It rises quickly, but it’s pretty hard to take away. I had the thought of doubt in my head. Why didn’t you try harder? Why did you miss that easy shot? My mind eating away at my self conscious. Regret not trying harder. Regret not proving yourself. Regret not pushing over that one girl to fight for the ball. Regret.
Slowly sinking into my bed, I tried to keep happy thoughts streaming through my mind. Late at night, I heard my bedroom door creak open as my mom slowly walked in. She pulled my limp body in for a hug, and I could feel her tears run down my back. The way they slowly dripped on my back, and fell quickly one after another. When she let go of my torso, she said five words that stuck in my head like glue. You didn’t make the team. The ghosts in my head kept repeating those words until my tears started falling like rain. After years of effort, nothing came out of it. Nothing except regret, and disappointment. I guess the coach had a different idea for me and my soccer career.
As the years went by, I have become a much better player. I know that there’s always much more room for improvement. Even though I wasn’t able to make the team that year, I know I am able to play much better than before. I may not be the player I was before, but now I’m so happy and grateful for the teammates I have now. My mind explodes when I have the thought of the prison I used to be in, and it shatters my heart feeling the way I did. Even though I have changed teams, I don’t regret trying out that year. It showed me what it feels like to be rejected and it helped me push through the tough times in life.