Message from a benchwarmer

WRITTEN BY: Danielle Shemanski

COVER PHOTO COURTESY: WIX

Small but strong, confident and fierce, sophomore Elena Alvarado is a committed athlete. Doing cross country, wrestling, and soccer, Alvarado devotes her time to sports. Having a strong motivation to do her best, she trained all last year by playing Rush (club soccer team). Putting in dedication, Alvarado practiced as much as she could. Although, going into tryouts, Alvarado had mixed emotions.

¨At first I was nervous, but then everything settled down because everyone was supportive and funny. I was feeling confident,” Alvarado said.

That year, Alvarado made varsity as a freshman, but she would have to put in the work to be a starter.

Alvarado explained that practices were fair. The other players didn't treat her differently because she didn’t play. Alvarado did the drills with everyone else, she just needed a little help.

As for the coach, ¨He treated everyone the same in each drill; if he saw you struggling, he would try to help but wouldn't specifically tell you what to work on,¨ Alvarado said.

Despite the struggle to keep up with the other players, Alvarado always tried her best.

¨I was ready to get better and try to get a spot as a starter to make an impact on the game,¨ Alvarado said

Most of the problems throughout the season came with playtime. Alvarado expressed her frustration of putting in so much work and not being able to play, as she only played a couple of games.

¨On the sidelines it was fun to watch, but really upsetting that I couldn't make an impact on the game,” Alvarado said.

Even though Alvarado did not get much play time, she always looked to do better for the next game.

Sometimes Alvarado got upset with the situations she faced which brought her motivation down. When feeling down, she could always rely on her teammates to cheer her up, describing them as funny, supportive and cheerful.

Bringing the season to an end, Alvarado expressed no regrets in her decision to play on varsity. Still, Alvarado felt getting the experience of being on varsity outweighed the risk of not playing.

“It was worth it even though I wasn't happy with how I did; it was worth it because I got to experience playing with better and older players than me. I got to experience playing on varsity,” Alvarado said.

Alvarado is already preparing for next spring. She continues to play Rush and also is involved in cross country, staying fit. For next season, Alvarado is mentally preparing for what she will face next.

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