As a child, I grew up watching my sister be the leading goal scorer on the lacrosse team and a two-time All-American Player. All I wanted to do was be like her. I would see her shoot goal after goal, setting records in college when I would have issues just running laps with the team. Seeing her excel so much was hard for me because I went from looking up to her to just envying her for her success. I couldn’t see myself in the position where she was and I felt like giving up. Watching her performance in high school lacrosse cast a large shadow for me to live under, as she was getting scouted by many colleges and I was just the slow defender who couldn't score a goal. Things for me started to change during the indoor winter league this past January. Our usual high school goalie wasn't going to play, so we had to get creative with who would be playing goalie. No one was very excited to volunteer themself, so I volunteered just to try it and be helpful to the team. What ended up happening was more than I would ever imagine. I liked it. And I was good at it. That instance was the moment everything changed for me. I started to feel more valuable to the team and was more motivated to work harder in practice. All of a sudden, I wasn't comparing myself to my sister, as I had realized that I was good at things that she wasn't, and I could finally recognize that we just had different skill sets. If you were to tell the version of me that was just a mediocre defender that I was the starting varsity goalie, I don't think I would believe you. I now know that I had all this potential building up and I just needed to find the right outlet to put it into. Since I switched positions, I have gotten so many compliments on my performance as a goalie from other coaches and even the head of the league. It was an important lesson for me to learn that I will not benefit from comparing myself to others, and that instead I should focus on myself and find my own strengths.
© Brynn Devers. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.