I U.S. U-18 WNT Training Camp Carson, CA at Staples Center
My time in the Youth National Team Program has taught me many important lessons about soccer and life. Some of which include the importance of hard work and determination, the essentiality of teamwork, and the necessity of setting goals and reaching them. But I think the most important one I have learned is to never take a moment for granted.
I am so thankful for the opportunities I have gotten with U.S. Soccer: to train in top-notch facilities, work with amazing players and coaches, but most of all, to wear the crest. An overwhelming sense of pride was felt everyday when I walked into the locker room, saw my name on that locker, and got to wear the U.S. jersey.
This camp was my second of the year. In many ways it was better and harder than last camp. With an almost completely new roster, the 9 returners, including myself, got to share our experiences with a new pool of players. From the physical and technical testing, to an inter-squad scrimmage, to cheering on our U-20 Women’s Team against Japan, and finally beating the L.A. Strikers 4-1 on our last day, the team became a tight-knit family. But with a new group of players and coaches, comes new talent and new techniques. This time a new goalkeeper trainer tested us in many ways, both physically and mentally. The goalkeeper sessions were the most intense parts of the day. Ranging from crosses to reaction saves; the daily topics were used to evaluate our skills while also teach us new things about the position. In a week full of 13 total trainings, I came away with a wealth of knowledge and a lot of new things to try and work on when I returned home.
Throughout the duration of this camp, I learned a lot about myself as a person and a player. I faced adversity and failure during my week at camp, while also facing moments of success and greatness. I know I will face these challenges and rewards as I continue to progress in the U.S. Youth National Team Program. My long-term goal is to make the roster to travel to the U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2016. I know with hard work and determination, I can work my best to get there. But for now, I am grateful for everything I have been able to do because of this sport. I know I would not be here without my family, my coaches, and most of all my teammates.
Remember, greatness is not achieved on talent alone. It is the hard work, sacrifices, sweat, blood, tears, and love you put towards becoming the best player you can be.