I followed my passion for sports and became a goal keeper

I've loved football since the first time my mum and I kicked a ball about in our backyard. As I grew up, I joined my school team and became the goalkeeper.

The moment when the other team shoots for a goal, time really slows down - it’s such a rush! My dream is to play for my country.

A few weeks ago, there was a competition to find the best goalkeeper in our area and the winner would get the chance to play in the local team.

I so badly wanted to try out, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to take my football to the next level. I was so nervous to ask for help or share my dreams with my family or friends in case they didn’t take me seriously.

My football coach used to play for our national team and is also a woman. She is so supportive of our team - I knew she would take me seriously and not laugh at me like some boys. I wanted to ask her if she thought I was ready and if she could help me in our training sessions in school to get ready for the try-outs.

I wanted to make sure I was prepared when I asked her for support. So I wrote down exactly what I wanted to ask her and how to tell her why this is so important for me.

Then I practiced saying it on my walk to school so I wouldn’t mix up my words.

I wanted to be clear with her and ask her for real feedback - I can’t improve if I don’t know the areas I can grow in.

I also made sure to tell her how seriously I am taking it, and that I would not miss any of our training sessions like I did last term.

The coach was really happy to help me and she was even going to put me forward for these try-outs anyway!

She also gave me really helpful feedback - like how my arm position were too low and that I needed to work on my kick.

Her support and confidence in me just reminded me of how sure I am that this is what I want to do and that I have the talent.

She helped build up my confidence to tell people about my dreams by reminding me that I can’t control other people’s opinions - but that people may surprise me and be very supportive if I give them the chance. I then told my parents, brothers and friends about my dreams - and even though some of them giggled at first, they all now are really impressed by my determination.

My coach, parents, brother and friends all came to watch my try-outs, cheering me on! I ended up winning the competition too. I’m so glad I reached out for support and shared my dreams!

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