What makes us successful
It’s a quiet Thursday night here in Sweden. I just finished dinner, chicken and vegetables made in an almond milk/red curry sauce over rice, and now I am sitting, reflecting. I had my first training today in over a week due to a recent back injury I suffered, and I am feeling ecstatic. It’s always a great feeling to get back on the field after some time away, especially when you are sharing the field with an incredible group of not only players, but people. This year has been one of my most memorable soccer years in my life. We have already created history in the club as no matter what happens this coming Sunday in our last game of the season, we will finish no lower than third, something the team has never achieved before. But what is even more exciting, is the fact that any positive result Sunday (a tie or a win), and we will qualify for Champions League, something I have dreamed about for a very long time. To have grown so much with this team and group of girls, it means that much more. I have been asked many times what I think has made us successful this year. Of course you can look at stats and see that in 19 games, we have 9 shutouts, and only 14 goals against, so defensively we have been stable and extremely disciplined. But to me, if I am to answer honestly, the stats are minor compared to what we have off the field. To be a part of a team that is so genuine in their relationships, and has a very high level of respect for each other, is not as easy to find as you may think. There are always different factors that come into play that put stress on players, like playing time, money, preferential treatment, or performance as some examples. For me, I am always extremely conscious of those around me, and no matter my position in the team whether I started the most recent game or not, I am conscious of my actions around others, because I have been in all positions. Fighting for a position or spot on the field is one thing, but once you cross that line, off the field, it’s different. You are a team; you are working towards a common goal. Away from the team, you don’t have to be best friends, you don’t all have to hang out together, and you don’t have to go to dinner with “everyone or no one”. But what’s important is when you come together; you leave your small group of friends out the door. As one of my teammates said ‘‘you don’t bring the small groups into the big group.” When this can be accomplished, the team can grow together, and reach new levels. Knowing we have achieved this as a team, no matter what happens this Sunday, we can be proud of what we have accomplished not only on the field, but especially off!