As I spoke with Brooklynn and Mark about her recent trial and how she didn’t make the team, I thought a lot about my own current situation. I’m in free agency right now, as I haven’t been asked back for the 2020 season with D.C. United.
Not making the team and not being asked back are two situations that players encounter at every level of play, from the youth level to the professional level. If you expect it to change as you progress through your career, you’re not ever going to be able to develop the mindset to move forward because you are going to be continually disappointed throughout your journey.
Now, you can take situations like not making the team and not being asked back and view them for what they are: normal in the life of a player.
I’ve always been viewed as an athletic player, but not one who is particularly intelligent or skillful. Many people put me in the ‘athletic’ box and category. Frequently, I’m only out on the field to do whatever the team needs at that moment; there’s a problem, an issue, a fire, and there is no one else available so they throw me in and bring me right back off the field.
Since I’m not perceived as being methodical on the field or thoughtful, thinking several steps ahead while playing the beautiful game, I get pigeonholed based on how people perceive my ‘game.’ Whether their perceptions are rooted in how I’ve played in the past, or how they believe I look in this current moment, it can be very difficult when you are viewed differently than you perceive and know yourself to be.
What I want you to know, is that no matter what level of the game you play, this is something you will be facing. You can’t change what others think of you, only they can do that, it’s just not something in your control.
Make sure to check out the full-length episode here, and the PS Clip about my 'Free Agency' below!