After sustaining a life alter concussion I was faced with the decision on if I wanted to return back to playing soccer. I was going to have a lot of conditioning and development of skills ahead of me. Although I was up for the task, I was still petrified that I was going to get hurt again or that I wasn’t actually okay to play in the first place. I had already made the decision to not return back to my club team but I wasn’t ready to quit soccer all together. I loved the sport and played for 11 years, so I never really knew what life was like without soccer and I wasn’t ready too.
That summer I focused on working and did not attend any preseason camps, still very leery on what to do. When tryouts came around, I wasn’t signed up, I didn’t have new soccer equipment, so I thought the decision was made. I was no longer going to play the sport I loved. I hadn’t told my coach or teammates about not returning because I knew they would try to convince me otherwise which would make my decision harder. After day one of tryouts, I received many texts and phone calls of concerned teammates and my coach. They all knew my dedication to the sport, but not many of them understood the fear I was feeling.
I agreed to meet with Coach Tom the following day during tryouts. I expressed my concerns with playing and the fear of not actually being ready to play. Coach Tom suggested I take my spot on the varsity team and work my way to playing in games. This would allow me to gain my confidence back, see how my body would adapt to playing soccer again, and the scary factor, seeing how my head would handle it. I told Coach Tom I would consider the offer and talk with my parents about it. My parents expressed their concerns and wanted me to see a doctor to clear me again before I committed to playing again. Thats exactly what I did.
The doctor cleared me and suggested I wear a concussion helmet that would help with heading the ball and if by chance I took the ball to the head it would help with the impact. While it was suppose to help me, I was more concerned about how I would look. But I sucked it up and wore it for the remaining of my high school soccer career. While I made the decision to not return to club soccer, I made the decision to stay playing soccer but not at the level I used to play at.