Can't Catch a Break?
Do you ever feel like things just never seem to go your way? Well, same here…
I just broke my rib in the last preseason friendly match and have to sit out a couple weeks... What a great way to start this season.
One of the hardest things to do in life is to not compare your journey to others. It’s easy to get discouraged and to feel the pressure when you see someone getting all the opportunities that you thought you would have at this point in your life.
From a soccer standpoint, it can be mentally and emotionally draining to compare your career to other players, especially players in your same position.
I know we always hear, “Everybody has their own path.” and “Not everybody’s path is the same,” but honestly, it’s so hard not to compare your journey to others in your position. It’s natural to wonder why those same opportunities haven’t crossed your path.
Self-reflection can be helpful when you start to feel discouraged. When I’m reflecting, I ask myself these questions, “Is there something about what I’m doing that is holding me back? Is there a skill I need to refine, or a skill I’m lacking? Do I need to change or improve my attitude? Am I making the best decisions to move my career in the right direction?” I find there's always something I can improve on, but sometimes it just comes down to luck hasn't found me yet and my path is just going to be a bit more challenging. Throughout my career I’ve had some tough moments to deal with so far, but one positive that I have taken from these negative experiences is my personal growth as a woman and an athlete. I’m proud to say that I’m a stronger person because of all the adversity I’ve faced since I began my professional career five years ago.
There are always the “what ifs” and “buts,” but it’s best not to dwell on these self-doubts and stay in the present. It’s easier said than done… I know! ;)
About my journey on a personal level:
I typically go through the same adversity when I begin training with a new team; I receive positive verbal feedback, yet it always seems to be followed by a “but” which is typically about the size of my butt. Which, in my view, makes an ass out of them. (Hopefully this made you laugh). I am a 6’2’’/188 cm goalkeeper with an even longer wingspan. I will never be a super thin person. I have feminine, curvy hips and a booty. Unfortunately, I go through the same scenario where the coaching staff perceives my physique as being unfit or overweight. That’s one hundred percent not the case. (Rolling my eyes).
Because of my height and extra-long arms and legs, I can save challenging shots on goal while staying on my feet, that many other goalkeepers must dramatically dive for. Most of my coaches over the years, and I’m sure even spectators, might see me as less explosive because I don’t have to do gymnastics to get to every difficult shot on goal. I find myself having the extra pressure to change stereotypes of what a goalkeeper is supposed to “look like” when making a save. It can be exhausting because they honestly just don’t seem to get it.
Fortunately, I always feel valued and appreciated by my teammates. They know how hard it is to get shots passed me and they let me know that they trust me in goal. However, of course we know they don’t decide who plays each week…
Every athlete has their own unique situations that they struggle through, sometimes repeatedly.
When athletes start to question their self-worth on the field, it can lead to them questioning their self-worth off the field as well. It’s such a hard mental battle to try not to spiral into a negative mindset that can consume you. I have battled with my mental health on and off throughout my career. I hope that if you’re struggling with your own mental health, that you understand it’s normal and prevalent among athletes. Mental Health comes first. Give yourself grace and continue to be the best YOU that you can be! If someone doesn’t value you for who you are, then maybe you’re not in the right environment for your positive growth, whether it’s on or off the field.
So, if you ever feel like you can’t catch a break, you’re not alone. Pretty much everyone feels that way at some point in their career or life. It really is how you deal with it. It’s okay to get upset for a moment, but then you need to move forward, reflect, and prove your worth. Be your biggest advocate and believe in yourself and you’ll have a better chance of catching your break.
(If you have been dealing with similar issues about being judged because of your weight or body type, send me a message, or comment below and let me know if you want me to get into this topic more.)
Be open to self-reflection.