This weekend I was playing field hockey representing my university and it dawned on me just how far I’ve come to get to where I am now.
I could not catch a ball until I was 10. In Grade 12, I was a nominee for female athlete of the year and the field hockey team MVP.
I was always picked last or near the end in gym class. Now I play field hockey representing my university.
When I was a kid, I had two left feet, and mom if you’re reading this I don’t want to make you feel bad but I remember you making comments that reinforced this idea in my head. In a way this led to me moving towards individual sports and in grade 12 I represented my school at the provincial level for swimming.
When I first started playing field hockey a coach told me I was the only forward who didn’t know how to score. Since then (not to toot my own horn or anything) I’ve scored countless goals, including in my university career, and every goal is for you Jojo!
I guess the points I’m trying to get across here is don’t ever give up and don’t let anyone tell you that you are not good enough. The sad truth is that somethings no matter how much we try to get good at something, sometimes it is just not possible. I will never be a proffessional dancer and I’ve learned to accept that. I am still learning to accept that I don’t look cute when I dance at the club, but maybe that’s something that is good to be a little delusional about. But we also all have hidden talents we might not even realize we have, that’s why it’s important to never give up trying. Switching to less coordination based sports for me was one of the best decisions I ever made. When I gained confidence in myself and my athletic abilities, I improved at all sports and not because I neccesarily worked harder but because I felt more confidence in trying. This was when I returned to team sports and started playing field hockey.
I will not lie, aspects of field hockey did not come naturally to me at first and some still don’t and I still have to work harder than natural born athletes to be at the same level. But that is all ok because I am happy and love being on the field. That is what is important.
To every kid that’s felt uncomfortable due to your athletic abilities, don’t let that deter you from trying new sports. We all grow at different speeds and don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about that. You will get exactly where you are meant too. Yes, you will have to work hard, but that makes the wins and accomplishments feel even better.
If you’re reading this as a coach or parent I hope you can take away how much the things you are saying to kids are sticking with them, and remember this when you are talking to anyone.
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