The soccer league that I play in doesn’t have dedicated goalies. That means that everyone on the team has to take a turn playing goalie for a game. Usually we do it half a game at a time.
A few weeks ago I volunteered to play goalie for the first half of the game. When I first pulled on the keeper jersey, put the gloves on, and ran out on the field to the net, I was terrified. TERRIFIED.
I didn’t realize before how big the net is until I was standing in front of it. It seemed so huge to me. How could anyone expect me to keep a ball out of it?
A funny thing happened though. Once the game started I realised I had some teammates who were playing an amazing defense and were working hard to keep the ball away. They were awesome, and the whole time I was in goal the ball only came to me a couple times.
Did the other team score on me? Definitely. But it was only once, and I had managed to stop the first try. There was no way I could have been able to get to the other side of the net in time to keep the ball from going in on the rebound. It was too much ground to cover in not enough time.
But you know what? I didn’t feel bad about it. I knew that I had given it my all and tried as hard as I could. I didn’t have any regrets. I couldn’t think of anything that I could have done differently.
When the ref whistled half time I was so relieved. I had played 30 minutes as goalie and survived. When I went over to the sideline to get some water, my team congratulated me. They thought I had done a good job, even though the other team had scored. I think one of the things I was so scared of was letting them down, but they didn’t feel disappointed at all.
Last week I played another half as goalie. I definitely wasn’t as scared as the first time, though I was still definitely more nervous that usual. You know what? I didn’t even let any goals in! Instead of worrying about the horrible things that could happen, I focused on the game and did my best.
I need to remember this experience for the next time that I’m faced with doing something that I’m scared of. I really have no idea how something is going to go until I actually do it. Having expectations that it’s going to be horrible doesn’t help at all. For all I know I could have had some amazing goalie abilities that I didn’t know I had cause I had never played the position before. I need to remember that when I’m faced with an unknown I need to tell myself that it could turn out pretty good.