Student-Athlete Journal: Kimberly Allenson, Women’s Lacrosse

 

Do you know what it is like to be told you will not be a success at something before you even begin? These words can be quite discouraging especially when it comes to team sports, except for the Rhode Island College women’s lacrosse team.

In September 2000, after a workout at the Recreation Center, I passed by a group of girls. A familiar voice from one of my best friends called out to me, "Kim, come to this meeting and join the lacrosse team with me." At first I thought she was kidding, I mean come on, the only skills I possess are from ballet and jazz. I have never even picked up a lacrosse stick. Well neither had any of the other girls at that first meeting.

The coach was very positive and enthusiastic about getting this team started. These qualities rubbed off on some of us girls at that meeting. Though he warned us most of the girls from other colleges have had teams for years, have trained year round and have played in high school. All throughout that fall semester just eight of us girls who have never played before took the chance. It was brought to our attention that we are not expected to win a game and by the looks of it, we might not even have a team for the spring season. I mean come on eight girls hardly constitutes as a team. But in a way we did.

Our coach worked very hard recruiting on campus and at local high schools for the next year. Our team of eight girls spread the word to friends and other athletes. By spring 2001 our team of eight increased. We recruited gymnasts, soccer players, volleyball players and even girls who have never played team sports before. Their athletic abilities helped our team out and they picked up the skills very fast.

At the end of the season, some may have seen it as an unsuccessful one. The team did not win one game and the most goals that we scored were six. But these people are looking upon our team on a superficial level. They do not see the true woodworking of how are team even became. To me, our team was nothing but successful.

Despite the fact we did not win a game and the other colleges were better conditioned with their bodies and skills, we never gave up. If you truly look at our scores from the first game to the last, we increased are number of scores and decreased the scores against us. This is why we are successful, we did not give up, we worked harder to better ourselves and we made it as the first women’s lacrosse team in Rhode Island College’s history.

Success is not about winning or perfection. Success is about improving the downfalls, sticking together and making it as a team. We did all of this along with learning the skills of an unfamiliar sport, being full-time students with part-time jobs.

This year our team has improved even more. The high school recruits who came from other schools could have gone to Western Connecticut to play lacrosse, but they did not. They chose to play with us. Other girls who played lacrosse in high school also came out for our team, along with other R.IC athletes. They have all impressed the veterans of our team with their swift pick-up of the skills and rules of the game. They are shedding a lot of positive attributes such as dedication, being on time for practices, willingness to keep learning the basics and the ropes of lacrosse.

I believe our team can only go one way…up. I think that we will continue are success, score more goals, block more shots, defend more players and receive possession of the ball more often. Will we win a game? I have confidence that we will. The athletes this year are very confident, strong, conditioned, skillful and determined. But even if we do not, I can guarantee this year’s team will increase the goals scored, will increase the number of saves from the goalie and will keep working at our downfalls to improve ourselves. Remember, those who strive for improvement and improve are successful whether they have a higher score or not.

 

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