Dear Mr. Sheppard:
Here at Samueli Academy, we have a collection of talents with the skill, but most of them lack the will. The will to show up to practice in preparation for upcoming games that will eventually determine if we qualify for CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) playoffs and give our school national recognition for sports, in particular, the Boys Varsity Soccer team. As the goalkeeper for the founding Boys Varsity Soccer team, I am here to provide a valuable insight on the team’s seasons so that we can replenish the team for next season and also serve as great advice for new generations of athletes who plan on forming part of the soccer team in the future.
To begin with, the team had to recreate itself after our first coach, Coach Beltran, decided to follow his dream of becoming an artist and announced to us the depressing yet ecstatic news back in 2015. This didn’t mean we would go from a very successful winning season, where we only lost 4 games, to a terrible and hopeless season with a new coach.
It turned out Coach Fernie was exactly who we needed to train us and mentor us for the 15-16 season as well as the 16-17 season. He would remind us every day that we had to show up to practice and earn our spot on the team each and every day. Respect, intensity, and just playing the beautiful game are a couple of words Coach Fernie reminds us to stand for during our games and off the field. It can be tough for those who put in the effort and truly love the sport when others decide to take matters into their own hands and do nothing but bring the rest of the team down. This can be a psychological effect as well as physical, mental, and even spiritual for players that really want to win.
During the first couple of practices and games of last season, I began to question whether I should deal with a team that fails to accomplish,disrespects our coach, and isn’t committed or take a break from soccer. This was a choice I would never want to make as a player but would risk to avoid the disrespect and something that was there,yet wasn’t. I wasn’t going to take part in the dishonorable, foolish immature, and unsportsmanlike conduct that our players developed. I talked to my dad with respect to the decision I was to make and for advice. My dad played a big part in helping me make my final decision.
It is people you can count on like Coach Fernie, Omar, and several of my closest friends and teammates that motivate you to stay optimistic and determined for success in the face of overwhelming odds. I decided to stay on the team for the players that hoped that I would keep playing and for those who especially needed me. “ A true leader not only cares about their success, but the success and empowerment of others.” “A true leader doesn’t create followers, they create more leaders.” These two quotes precisely explain what I hope to achieve by the time my playing days for this great team are over.
I will take leadership as a senior next year and support my team and coach. It is essential for a team to have a leader that doesn’t necessarily have to be the best player on the team, but the best for the team. I hope I lead my team further into the CIF playoffs next season by pushing players to achieve greatness not only as soccer players, but as students who should focus on tests as much as they do on scoring the game winning goal.