23 Mar Inspiring Female Athletes to Be Individuals
I’m over it.
I’m over it that you’re over-stimulated.
I’m over it.
I’m over all the things that are taking you away from being an individual and a human with a colorful canvas of gifts.
I’m over it you’re distracted from your own strengths, constantly comparing yourself to your neighbor and who you follow on social media. I’m over it you’re being told what and how to think by the internet.
As an athlete, this is the greatest threat to your development: being stripped away from your individuality and sucked into the mob think mentality, and being told who to be.
Subconsciously, you know something feels off.
You know your mind is entranced by a sea of distractions, yet you continue to scroll with a dreary eye glaze, and post with mindless outrage.
Let me ask you this: who are you?
No really, who even are you?
While the online world is a blessing to be able to connect with others, it can be a curse that distracts you from your values. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to be passionate about what is going on in the social media space, but in order to change the world, help your team and blossom yourself, you need to own your individuality.
Be an individual.
After all, team sports are about the tiny pieces that build the collective.
The midfielder who dazzles the group’s style of play with her technical skills, the defender who bolsters the squad’s fierceness with her aggression, the outside back who boosts the team’s attacking mindset, the forward who elevates everyone’s hard work with her finesse.
The group can’t succeed unless the individual takes responsibility for her role, and brings to the table her strengths, her skill sets, her unique flare.
So amidst the noise, who are you, young female athlete, as an individual?
What do you value?
What do you give to others?
What do you offer that is magical?
I urge you to stop looking outside of yourself for who you are at your core. I urge you to delete the external stimulation from others, social media, the news, the world and go within. I urge you to dig up the treasure inside you that not only fulfills your mission, but serves the collective.
It’s a win-win, after all.
It’s good to be selfish.
Selfish, meaning, the relentless pursuit of honing your craft, taking responsibility for your health and performance, and serving yourself first. If you can’t serve yourself, how do you expect to serve others? If you don’t change yourself first, how do you expect to change the world? If you remain caged inside a label or a position, how do you even lean into creative expression and spontaneity?
Be an individual.
You’re never a black or white, or this or that, or this group or that group, versus this ideology versus this one over here, center back versus forward versus who has skills versus who doesn’t. No.
You can be a multitude of things all at once. You don’t need to be grouped, put into a cute, little box, with stringent expectations, barriers and limitations.
You can simply, be YOU.
You can be the midfielder who play makes with elegance, yet who also tackles with tenacity.
You can be the quiet worker at practice, yet still get loud in competition.
You can be the physical, bold center back, yet still have skills.
You can be a short goalkeeper, but tall in your actions and in your heart.
You can be a total tomboy, while also being feminine.
The moment you bury yourself in the group-think program rather than recognize your sparkling individuality, is the moment you lose yourself, and as a byproduct, the rich fabric of the collective withers away.
Be an individual.
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Dennis GPosted at 17:48h, 24 March
This was an awesome piece. I will be sharing with my daughter. I never played soccer but have been enjoying learning the game through my daughter’s lens. I had a perception of what I thought a goalkeeper was from a physical standpoint. I love what you wrote about being a short keeper but tall in action and heart. That resonated with me as I’ve watched my daughter change positions to become primarily a keeper for the first time ever. She is short however, she’s persistent in mastering technique and has relentless effort. Its inspiring to watch from the sideline.
ericaPosted at 11:32h, 25 March
Thanks for reading, Dennis! Important to recognize our strengths and lean into them! <3