It really is about the school…..

It is an exciting time as college soccer season kicks off! I’ve enjoyed getting back into it and following many different teams via social media. I can tell the students are having the time of their lives and developing both on and off the field. As I see videos of practice, team bonding activities, and first preseason games it brings a giant smile to my face. My first experience of college soccer was a bit different than your average student athlete, but I still had a blast and learned a ton!

I know I brought this up in my confidence write up: here. But, it played a big part of my college experience- so, in case you didn’t know, I broke my foot during my senior year in high school. I took several weeks off and wore a boot to allow it to heal.  At the time, I thought that was the hardest thing I’d ever go through. No soccer? WHAT?!?! But, several weeks later I went to my final doctor appointment and was told I could play as long as I wasn’t feeling any pain…..even though there was still a fracture!! <– That will come in as an important point in a minute. I took that as a green light! I finished my club soccer season with the most amazing experience. Our team took 3rd in Regionals in Hawaii. It was the best I ever felt I played and I was excited to continue riding that high into my college experience!

College soccer kicked off with double day training in August for us. The dorms weren’t open yet, so I remember leaving home with just a few of my things because my parents were going to meet me at school later. I boarded a plane and headed up to Idaho to become a Division 1 college soccer player! I was nervous but mostly excited because, I’m not going to lie, my soccer confidence was in a really good place at the time.

Before we could start training with the team we had to go through a medical physical. I didn’t think anything of it. However, the doctor asked me about my past injuries and insisted that we x-ray my foot again to make sure I was okay to play. Again, I didn’t think anything of it because I had played and trained all summer. I was wrong. The x-ray showed there was still a fracture in my fifth metatarsal. The doctor explained it was what they call a “Jones Fracture.” No blood ran by the area of the fracture and so it was rare for that type of injury to heal naturally. Big bummer! I scheduled my first surgery….

I spent my first double days watching my teammates. I spent my first college soccer game in a boot on the bench watching and cheering on my new friends. It definitely was not what I had envisioned for myself, but I learned more than I realized that year and ended up having an amazing college freshman experience.

As a teammate, I learned to be supportive and dedicated without being able to touch a ball. Off the field I learned how to make new friends. I had the time of my life meeting and spending time with people from my dorm. The friendships I made with my freshman teammates as well as my dorm buddies are some of the best, most real, friends I’ve had in my life. I learned tons about time management: classes, homework/study tables, rehab, weights, and attending practice…..without having my parents around to guide me. Lastly, I learned to get around on crutches in the snow! Snow AND ice!! I rarely (okay maybe once) missed a class because of my injury. If that doesn’t build character, I don’t know what does!  #noexcuses

Playing soccer is just one piece of going to college. I was extremely fortunate to be at a school that I loved being a part of even if it didn’t kick off the way I thought it would. I met some amazing friends, attended a fantastic business college, and, after a year off, got to achieve my dreams of playing Division 1 college soccer. As you decide where to attend school and potentially play a sport, keep in mind that anything can happen. You 100{6a76a1575f1b91d4f1b95ffaacb36cc959f67e9570060575218018ff5ab981cd} need to be okay GOING TO SCHOOL where you end up! If they don’t have your major, maybe you shouldn’t go there. If the school feels too small or overwhelmingly big, take a big deep breath and digest what that means to you. You know what is right for you- TRUST YOUR GUT.

If you have any interest in playing college soccer, don’t hold yourself back from learning more. Visit our page or message me for a free consultation!

https://jhicksconsulting.com/althleteform/

Learn more about me here: https://jhicksconsulting.com/about-mandy-raff/