Saturday, December 20, 2008
Today Elizabeth had a soccer game in New Orleans.....Elizabeth has never been a good soccer player but loves the game. She is a sophomore in high school and plays for her high school, Saint Thomas Aquinas. After seven years of soccer, you would think she would be awesome... no, she sat on the bench last year and for several games this year. I think after processing her strengths and weaknesses in the game, she decided to speak to her coach about playing defense. He always put her in offence and she has no footwork skills or good co-ordination. He took her advice and tried it one day at practice. She defended against their star player, Cambre. After ten minutes of Elizabeth breathing down her back, springing in front of her at her every twist and turn, and completely cutting her off from any chance of contact with the ball, the star player turned to the coach and asked if he would take Elizabeth off of her.....Elizabeth found her niche. She immediately went from sitting the bench to being their star defense player, starting every game and never leaving the field. They now pick the number one player on the other team and tell Elizabeth to stick to her. Her nickname is Velcro and today I saw why. She brings her own unique sense of style to her position. She is completely in their personal space with about an inch between her face and their face at all times. However, she looks very sweetly at them and smiles that killer smile and says, I am so sorry I have to do this, but my coach told me to play the game this way. From then on she sticks like Velcro to the person. She anticipates every turn or move and is not only in front of them but is literally an inch from their face! She covers them so completely that they rarely get a shot at the ball. As the people she defends are used to being the superstar, this really gets to them. She is in such shape that she can outrun and outlast every player they put her on. She is intense and never lets up. Sometimes, if she is behind them, she is so close to them that she will actually rest her head on their shoulder....they are so freaked out they lose all control of the game. She is now the focal point of all the parents as we want to see just what she will come up with next to completely annoy her target to death. Sometimes she dances all around them when they are standing still...anything she can do to distract her opponent. She has taken defense to a new art form and in the process, become an admired and valuable team mate. Lesson learned....never give up when you are doing something you like to do. You will find your niche and succeed.