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By Kristin Englehart, Girls Director of Coaching
Chloe Finney played her first scrimmage with Unity Christian's varsity team on April 9th after one year and three months of not playing competitively. Chloe played for me last year on our club's U14 premier team. It was her first year playing premier soccer, and she struggled a bit technically and tactically during the fall season. It was during that off-season that I saw tremendous growth in Chloe. She was more committed to the sport than ever before. She consistently trained on her own and was playing with more confidence every day. It was during one of our mid-winter team trainings that Chloe suddenly fell when pivoting to get to a 50/50 ball. Torn ACL.
I met with Chloe shortly after her injury and discussed her road to recovery and the possibility of her playing premier level soccer again. She did not waste a second of recovery time feeling sorry for herself or thinking negatively. She was incredibly steadfast and focused on her long-term goals of making her school's varsity team and again playing the game she loved.
Chloe dedicated herself completely to improving her strength, regaining her technical skills and playing with confidence again. She worked for over a year without a secure place on any club or high school team. She didn't have teammates rallying around her. She didn't even have a uniform to remind her of what she was working toward.
She is now playing significant minutes for a State Championship high school team (as a freshman) and looking forward to playing premier soccer again starting in June. This is a shining example of one of our own players overcoming adversity. Congratulations, Chloe!
I have seen many of our players and teams overcome great obstacles over the past year. They have displayed courage, strength and humility in very difficult situations. On a daily basis I also see our players and teams rise to less significant challenges. Our responses to life's challenges are a reflection of our mental attitude. How we carry ourselves, the way we take instructions from coaches, and even how we react to our own mistakes are all reflections of our ability to overcome difficulties.
We are always going to make mistakes. We will occasionally go down by a goal or two. We are not going to agree with every call the referee makes. We will get knocked down both literally and figuratively. We are going to experience these challenges and possibly much greater hardship as we play this game. However, the player/team that is best at overcoming adversity will most often win. Sometimes you won't will the particular game, but you will win in life!
Stay after it Michigan Fire!