Written By Alexa Loebel
BIO: Just your typical 20 something-year-old Midwest gal being young, making mistakes, enjoying spontaneous adventure, and finding her way coast to coastin’. Website: CharmingSanfranciscoBlog.com - Facebook: @alexa.loebel - Instagram: @alexaraeloebel - Twitter: @alexaraeloebel
What is your passion? What is it that makes your heart skip a beat — that one thing that, no matter what, you just can’t help but force a grin? That memory that comes to light when you think of your happy place — where is it? Who in your life brings your “happy place” to life?
For me, it’s sports. Soccer, specifically.
Ever since I was a little girl, soccer has been the one thing in my life that has kept me inspired to be the best I can possibly be — in every aspect of my life. I learned discipline, determination, passion, leadership, and teamwork; among many other things that played a significant role in shaping who I am today.
I loved the feeling of warming-up on cold fall nights, under the lights while all of our fans entered the stadium — mentally preparing for what this next game will hold, with each touch and shot on goal. I loved how my mindset immediately shifted from pure focus to excitement when “All The Above” played over the intercom. I loved the 60 seconds of nerves that ran throughout my body right before the ref blew the game whistle.
I love everything about this game. I love everything this game has taught me.
Never back down; never give up.
You can be the best team in the state, region, and country, but there is never a guarantee that all of the cards will be in your favor for every game. You have to come ready to give 110% for the full 90-minutes. Putting every thought, worry, and challenge that you’re facing outside of the game behind you for the next hour and a half, because this is your time. This is your team’s time. If you’re having an off game, take five minutes during the half and re-focus — adjust your mindset, and leave the first half behind you.
Going into the second half you are a new player, a better player, and you’re ready to give the next 45 minutes everything you have. No matter the outcome.
Communication is key.
So much of this game is using everything that is available to you to your advantage in creating and executing opportunity — the entire pitch — length and width, your teammates, your coach, your skills. The more space you are able to create; your ability to work in sync with your team — the best chance you have at maintaining possession and the best chance you have at creating opportunity. While there are set plays to run, the beauty of this game comes from creating turnkey plays out of space, timing, communication, and executing on the right opportunities.
When these four are in alignment with one another, you set yourself up to be in the best position for great opportunity.
Nothing compares to the love and support of your family and friends.
Win, lose, or tie — there is nothing in this world that will ever compare to the love and support of your family and friends. Whether you just played one of the best games of your life, or you really shit the bed, excuse the expression, to have the endless support of your homebound team will mean the world and more.
No matter the circumstance. Be a role model; be a leader.
Something that I believe in and absolutely adore about sports organizations is the willingness to teach and give back to the community. At such a young age, it’s so important to grow in your skills and abilities, along with the social aspect of being apart of a team. But apart from growing as a team, it’s just as important to learn and to grow as an individual, person and athlete — to see how your actions on and off the pitch impact those within your community, those who look up to you as an athlete and as your own person.
You learn to experience life being conscious of the decisions that you’re making and how it impacts not only you, but those closest to you; those who believe in you; and those who admire you. It sets a precedent for what type of leader or role model you want to be seen as. What type of leader or role model you want to be.
I loved soccer. I love soccer. And I will always love soccer — this sport has changed my life in more ways than one; both on the pitch and off. While I ultimately made the decision to put the game behind me, I now have an amazing chance to live my passion vicariously through my best friend, role model, and inspiration — my sister. Being the sister that she has always been, she followed in my footsteps and made soccer her dream — pursuing the sport as I did, and acted upon chasing her dreams to become a D1 soccer player.
She plays the game with passion, grace, and excitement, as every born and bred athlete should. She plays the game for herself — in growing as a player. She plays the game for her team; for her coach — to be the best they possibly can be, as one united. She plays the game for her family.
More than anything else, she plays the game through God. For God.
Soccer is my passion. Sports are my passion. Witnessing the amazing things it brings into the lives of these determined and inspiring athletes. Seeing first hand how the game you love can completely change your life, can shape who you’re meant to be, who you want to become.
What is your passion? What is it that makes your heart skip a beat — that one thing that, no matter what, you just can’t help but force a grin? That memory that comes to light when you think of your happy place — where is it? Who in your life bring your “happy place” to life?