Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Tips from a Soccer Player ; A Spiritual Look at Issues of Interest to Young People

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Tips from a Soccer Player ; A Spiritual Look at Issues of Interest to Young People

Article excerpt

My friend Maria loves soccer. She plays any position, but she usually plays midfielder on both a school team and a select travel team. She was on that travel team when they won the state tournament. In an interview recently, she explained some ideas that have helped her game.

Why do you play soccer?

It's fun. I'm good at it.

What would you say to someone who wants to play but isn't so good?

Practice. Get involved in a league where there's not so much competition. You want to play and get the practice without the pressure.

Do you feel pressure to win?

If I haven't done well, or the team hasn't and we're feeling down, I know I need to change my thought. I always relate soccer to what I know about God. I know God doesn't care if we lose a game. He won't love us less. My parents won't love me less. That takes the pressure off. Then I think about how God gives me the power to do well. That always calms me and gives me a lift. Then I play better.

How do you feel if you lose a game?

It's not terrible to lose. You can't win every game. I'm never mad if I did my best. If we lose, it's because the other team was better. We can learn something about how to play better.

Do you ever pray about your game?

Sure. Not too long ago we had two games in one day. We lost the first and were really bummed. We were thinking of all sorts of stuff that would keep us from winning, like "They're so big."

Then I thought about what I know about God. He is perfect, He is powerful, and He is All. And to what I know about myself - I am His child, and He made me just like Himself. So, I thought, "God can do all good. I'm His child." That definitely changed my thinking. I felt confident. We won the next game 2-0.

Another time a girl on my team tore a leg muscle and was crying. She had a lot of pain. I talked to her and I was thinking, "You're God's child. …

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