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Resources Feb 01, 2016

Chapter 9: MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS – ROOKIE: Surviving Your Freshman Year of College Soccer

ROOKIE Cover JPEGEvery team has its own chemistry and interpersonal dynamics at work. When you get to college, you’re going to have a natural need to get information about your teammates and coaches. The returning players will be happy to give it to you, and often times you won’t even need to ask.

When this type of information is being thrust upon you, take it with a grain of salt. The player telling you something is basing what she says on her personal experiences, and those experiences will differ from one player to the next. Just because someone is the first to tell you something, that doesn’t mean her opinion is indisputable. My point is this: Be wary of the player who gossips and backstabs her teammates. She has an agenda and she is trying to recruit you to her side. She hopes to slant your view on certain people before you ever have the chance to know them. It is in your own best interest to avoid being dragged into any one clique. Stay open-minded. Don’t let other people determine your relationships.

When a player backstabs a teammate, there may be a history there that you know nothing about. When she slams the coaches, it might be because she’s been unhappy with her playing time. Whatever the motive, you’re better off not drinking too much of her Kool-Aid. Just politely distance yourself from her as quickly as possible.

My advice is that you don’t take anything too seriously on face value. Do yourself a favor and make up your own mind about your teammates and coaches. You may end up liking them or you may not, but make those decisions on your own terms and give everyone a fair shake. Four years later you’ll be happy that you did.

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