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More than a Game

Elisabeth Rockhill

Elisabeth Rockhill with a soccer ball

Growing up, I was always an energetic child that was constantly on the move. From the moment I could walk, my parents knew that they would be signing me up for multiple sports in the near future. Around the age of five, they signed me up for rec soccer, and it was clear from the moment I touched that ball that I possessed a competitive drive to win. As I continued to mature and move on from rec soccer, to travel soccer, and then eventually to club, my competitive fire stayed lit the entire timeWhile my friends around me who I played with began to develop other interests that took them away from soccer, my focus remained on the game. I give a good amount of credit to my parents when it comes to my youth soccer career, for they were always very supportive and encouraging of me playing. Both my mom and dad were never hard on me in regards to soccer, which is the way all parents should be while involved in their child’s sport. However, a major change occurred during my freshman year of high school, a change I never thought I would have to deal with in my life.  

At the beginningg of my freshman year of high school, I noticed my parents beginning to argue more, and not getting along as well as they used to. I did not think anything of it at first, because I know people have disagreements from time to time. However, it did not end up getting better, and they filed for divorce. My entire life was flipped upside down; and for the first month after it happened, I was in complete shock. I would go to school, come home, and not come out of my room until the next morning. I had lost all interest in hanging out with my friends, and felt like I was in a constant fog all the time. I knew I needed to take action and do something different in my life to change the mindset I was in.  

I began to shift my focus towards soccer and really worked on elevating my game as a player in order to potentially get a scholarship to play in college. I made a conscious decision moving forward that I was going to put any negative feelings I had into pushing myself to excel at the sport I knew I wanted to take to the next level. Whenever I was at club soccer practice, I felt at ease surrounded by my teammates with the ball at my feet. 

During this time of my life, soccer really helped control the wide range of emotions I was experiencing that were caused by my parent’s divorce, and guided me into the path that has allowed me to continue to play soccer in college. I am forever grateful to have soccer during that time of my life, for it provided me with a healthy outlet to deal with feelings of uncertainty that I experienced on a daily basis. A major life lesson I took from this experience is that if you are dealing with some sort of adversity within your life, it is very beneficial to find something you are passionate about and channel your emotions through that activity. Doing this will not only help your overall mental state, but will help you move forward in your life. 

Elisabeth Rockhill