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My “New” Normal  Grace Burgett

On March 13, 2020, the town where I live shut down. Throughout March and April, towns and states across the United States and countries across the world also continued to close and put limits on what people could do and where they could go. Measures like quarantining, social distancing, and wearing masks and gloves were put into place to protect ourselves and others from contracting the novel coronavirus. People had no choice but to completely change their lifestyles and adapt to the “new” world around them and were forced to give up or change things that used to be a part of their everyday lives, like school, sports, and gatherings with friends and family.

Sports completely changed for me. In the first few weeks of our stay-at-home order, I realized that I would not be able to play soccer in the spring. At first, our schools were only closed for a few weeks, but on April 4th, we got the final word that the schools would not be reopening for the rest of the year. Since schools were closed, that meant that sports would also be canceled. Some of the players on my team would not be continuing soccer in high school, and this was our last chance to play together as a team. I didn’t know how to feel about this because something like this had never happened to me before. This was something that I was looking forward to, but the quarantine took it away.

Since we have been at home, I have not been able to get the same experience training, and I haven’t been practicing as often. I would usually be having at least two practices a week and a game on the weekends. This would have given me a chance to work on and improve my skills.

This interruption has given me time to consider my future in soccer. There have been days that I don’t think that I will ever be good enough to be on the high school team, but there have also been days that I can imagine myself on the field with all of my future teammates. I want to be on the team and if I want to accomplish this, I am going to have to work harder than I have ever worked before. I am still in the middle of this quarantine period, but I am hopeful that if I put in the work and effort, I will be able to achieve my goals. 

The longer this stay-at-home order has gone on, the more I have been able to reflect and adapt to the “new” world around me and change my soccer training, so I will be able to achieve my goal of being on the high school soccer team. With my brother, who also plays soccer, I have made different drills and exercises that I can do at home with limited people and materials. Some of these drills include passing to each other, weaving in and out of cones with the soccer ball, and taking turns shooting at our soccer net. We have been practicing at least three or four times a week to keep a consistent schedule, as we would have if we weren’t in isolation. I have been working extra hard and putting in the extra effort. This is something that I want to achieve and I am not going to let anything stand in my way, even if at first, it didn’t seem like it could be possible.

Soccer is a big part of my life and affects who I am today, as a person and as an American. Through continuing to work hard and giving my best efforts, I will achieve my goals and dreams. I look forward to the first time that I walk onto that soccer field as part of the high school team.

© Grace Burgett. 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.