You can imagine a cold rainy day in England. Grey sky, wet field, with mud that sticks to your cleats, but the feeling of playing never changed no matter what the weather. I played for the “Weekend Team”, more serious than the school football team, and when I wasn’t in school I was on the field. This is the field on which my team and I put in hours worth of blood, sweat, and tears.
What makes the weekend team special is that the members were always changing, therefore I grew to recognise the types of people I like, reflecting the kind of person I am, and as we spent more time together we became a team. Everyone gave each other constructive criticism, and through that, the team improved as a whole. Teammates, they aren’t there to put you down, they are “mates”. Without them you won’t go anywhere, out can’t play without them. I understood the importance of a team and working as a team, but boy, when I transferred to an international high-school in Japan, I wished that football was an individual sport.
I didn’t know what to expect from the football team in my new school. As it happens, there weren’t even any tryouts and the experience level much different than in England. You were either good or looked like you’ve never seen a ball in your life. Playing with this team was one of the most frustrating experiences. We always lost, and every time I would be playing in a game and one of my teammates messed up I would be infuriated. Sometimes I would yell at them during the game or I’d take it out on the ball. One thing that made me love the weekend team back in the U.K. was the comradery and how everyone helped each other. So though my frustration I remembered that if I wanted to be a part of a better team, we had to help each other. Back in England, I was always the student, but in HIS I am also a teacher. As a teacher, I started to notice how different people learn differently than I do. I’m a fast learner, but I need to adjust how I teach and the pace at which I teach to fit the student. As a mentor and teammate I have to remind my team that a teammate is a “mate”, we win together and we lose together. We are sportsmen, and sportsmen don’t go into a game thinking they’re gonna lose and give up. There’s no meaning to give up. We keep trying until the game ends. If there’s a wall you want to climb, you don’t just turn around and walk home, you climb that wall… except if it’s the wall of china, then you get a sledgehammer each and break that wall down, and you’ll do it as a team.
My dad would always say “Information is power”, he’s right. When you learn new things it becomes important because you can apply knowledge to all aspects of your life. Through football, I gained friends… and maybe also enemies. I gained information about people, how they learn, and how to adjust to their differences. I applied this to my new school, where there are people from all over the world who differ from me in many ways. People here in Japan are never giving up and inspired me to be persistent and have a strong mindset. I see the impact that football has had on many aspects of my life; school, how I interact with my classmates, and how I have a growing respect for others. I see my friends trying new things, being motivated to workout in the gym, struggling to complete an assignment on time, and they remind me what the point is in trying. I’m trying to improve on many things, I wanted to learn a new sport so I joined Tennis, even though I knew I’d be bad at it. You try so you learn, and life and school are pointless if you don’t take advantage of the opportunity you are given to grow.
Now you can imagine a clear crisp day in Hokkaido, Japan. The air cuts through your lungs, your body heat battles the wind, the sunlight which escapes through the parting clouds brushes your face, and as the whistle sounds, the only thing that’s in your focus is the ball, your team, and the field.
I had Nicholas read my first PSP draft and give me feedback. Based on that I changed some American terms to British terms, such as "soccer" to "football" and "field" to "pitch". Also some of the personal detail that was incorrect I corrected them, for example I found out that the Weekend team was actually more serious than the school team. I decided to add a narrative like introduction and conclusion, so that it helps paint a picture in the readers mind as well as ties the ending to the beginning.