From the lowest to the highest level in amateur soccer: the best 3 years of my life

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013. After our practice with 5th division team RKVV Nederwetten I fall into a lazy chair at home. My mom’s attention is focused on the television. Carefully, extremely carefully, I pick my moment. ‘Err, mom?’ She turns her head only ever so slightly, her eyes still aimed at the screen. ‘Hmm?’ One last time I gather all my courage, and then I utter the big statement I’ve been preparing. ‘Do you think it’s possible to decide you want to become a professional soccer player at age 20?’ Now my mom turns her head so fast I’m worried she’s gonna have a whiplash, and stares straight into my eyes. ‘Oh God‘, I can almost hear her think. She knows me long enough to know that I didn’t say that for no reason. After a few seconds, she asks the question she already knows the answer to. ‘Why?’

Emma Coolen - Christen Press - TyresΓΆ FFAutographs and selfies

Three years have passed since that moment. Three years in which I’ve been chasing that dream of climbing the soccer ladder, starting at the very bottom. And it scared me a little, when I realised it had only been three years. I feel like I’ve been working on this my whole life. Only three years, since I was watching the biggest soccer stars in the world train (Marta, Christen Press, Ali Krieger) and honestly, didn’t really have a clue who they were. Three years, since in spite of that, I asked for selfies and autographs afterwards (Oh, the shame that washes over me when I think back to that!). Three years, since I came home and decided to turn my life around.

I realise that at this point, the blog is starting to get a little bit melodramatic and self-glorifying. That’s why I’m just gonna go back to the order of the day, and afterwards call it quits for today. The past few weeks, I have been able to celebrate my three-year anniversay as a wannabe-professional player with three starts and my first league goal for Moldavo’s first team. Sure, half the squad is injured, but that’s not gonna take away any of the fun I had in the minutes I played. From the lowest to the highest amateur level in three years: on that given Tuesday night in 2013, I couldn’t have thought that to be possible even in my wildest dreams.

…is always a miss!

You know the clichΓ©s, right, that if you truly want something, and you work hard enough, you’re going to achieve it no matter what. With my experiences of the past few years in the back of my mind, I’m gonna have to disagree with that statement. To reach your goals, you not only need hard work and rock solid motivation. It also involves a huge amount of luck and coincidences. And you might just work your behind off and never even get close to your goals. But if I, with a little bit of luck here and there, can reach the highest amateur level in three years, I might as well take the gamble and go full throttle for another two and a half years until that 2019 World Cup. Not to shoot… Right? πŸ˜‰

Thanks for reading, talk soon! πŸ™‚

Emma - Signature

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