Sports Increase Confidence

Written by: OA

Binggg!  A crowd of famished people fill the dated, worn-out hallways.  Students squeeze past each other as everyone is trying to meet with their friends, find food, or leave school before anyone notices. Except me.  My head is down. My eyes scan the filthy floors of the school. I cannot look, talk or see anybody. My only goal is to get to my lunch table without doing anything to embarrass myself.  Finally, I make it. I sit down at the table; grateful for a safe journey here. My friends are chatting about random stuff. I sit there. Quietly. Having no desire to speak. Suddenly, something sparks my interest. My friend Julie starts talking about soccer tryouts.  I love soccer! I love the thrill of kicking the ball and watching it glide across the bright blue sky. I love the excitement that fills the atmosphere when your team scores the winning goal. I reminisce about the days I used to play soccer with my older brother. We were so young and had no worries or fears. We only had fun.  I eagerly exclaim “I want to try out for the team!” Everyone at the table looks at me oddly. Right after I speak those few words, reality hits me. I cannot play soccer with a whole crowd of people watching my every move. What if I trip and fly across the field as if I WAS the soccer ball. What if I kick and miss and the whole crowd bursts into laughter.  I can no longer think about my love for this sport; I can only worry about what could go horribly wrong. I change my mind. No more tryouts. No more soccer. Instead, I will just kick the ball around in my back yard.

I arrive home after an exhausting day at school.  My brain aches. All I can think about is soccer. The two voices in my mind argue.  One is telling me to try out because I love soccer and it will be so much fun! The other is saying there is too much possibility of embarrassment.  It is not worth it. I decide to go play some soccer in my backyard. Maybe try to convince myself to have the confidence to try out for the team. As I watch the ball fly, an enormous smile takes over my frown.  I think about all the good things that can happen if I join the soccer team. I throw my fear across the fence and try to catch some confidence. Tomorrow I will try out for the team.

Finally the day is here. Tryouts. Horrible, nervous thoughts dash through my mind. I attempt to abandon these thoughts before I step on the field.  My mom always tells me to “put your confidence hat on.” And I did. And it worked. I played the best I’ve ever played. I threw my foot to the ball and it soared across the entire field. The coaches and other soccer players were astonished.  I felt like I was a professional soccer player; impressing everyone who placed their eyes on me. Finally, the tryouts were over and little to my surprise, I made the team! I could not hold my excitement inside of me. It was bursting out like candy overflowing from a piñata.  My confidence flourished and I felt better than ever. Ever since these soccer tryouts I looked at people as I passed them in the warn-out school hallways, I talked to my friends at lunch, and I walked with my head held high at school in between block change. Everything changed because of soccer.  I am now a happier, confident, and soccer-obsessed girl!