After four years of a new team every season, I went into my first practice of my fifth soccer season expecting the same to be true. Play on this team for one year and then be randomly placed on a different one the following year. Little did I know this team, especially the coaches, would leave a lasting impact on my life. I gained an invaluable support system that has stuck by my side for an upwards of nine years.
Even though our team, “The Stingers”, eventually changed to “The Velocity”, one girl, Christina, was always there for me and continues to be by my side today. Through playing on the same soccer team for nine seasons, we developed a bond that will not easily be broken. We can look at each other and just start laughing for no reason. I know all of her drama and she knows mine. Our mutual trust that was developed on the soccer field has branched into every aspect of our lives. I know I can turn to her at any moment and she will quit whatever she is doing and come to my rescue. Likewise, she knows I will always be there to help her through any situation, no matter how difficult it may be. Recently, when Christina received the heart wrenching news that her mom has breast cancer, I stood right by her side to help her through it. She was able to lean on me for support when it was too overwhelming for her to handle on her own. When she needed to get away from the stresses of her mom’s health, we would hang out and just talk for hours on end. Similarly, when my relationship with a mutual friend was struggling, Christina was there to help me get through it. She encouraged me to stay strong and continue to treat our friend with respect even though she neglected me and our decade of friendship.
Over the years, our relationship has only grown stronger. Though we have had our ups and downs, we don’t quit on each other. Because we have been teammates, we work through our issues and continue to build our trust in each other. On the field, we have to work together for the good of the team as a whole, we can’t have selfish motives. In the same way, our relationship is based on a give and take, doing what is best for everyone. Had we never been placed on the same team back when we were nine years old, I would not have one of my closest friends in my life.
Possibly even more valuable than the relationships with the girls on my team are the relationships with the coaches. Unlike most coaches, mine became my second...