When you take over a program, you do not know what you are walking into or the type of players who come to represent your teams. The first face, Grace Roberts, Junior.
Grace is an exceptional person and athlete. She became the face of our program because she bought in day-1, committing herself to doing her personal best, and continues to do such every single day. She was forced to train in different ways; overcoming pain and fatigue, overcoming blood, sweat and tears, never complaining, never taking a day or play off, with the biggest smile on her face.
The qualities Grace possesses are special attributes not very many athletes possess, not be able to say, “I did my best!” Grace can. From day-1, Grace showed up. She showed up for voluntary fitness training over the summer. She was one of the few consistent faces each day. It was not easy. She would not quit. She kept coming back. She always strives to get better, working on the fundamentals, over and over. She trains hard and puts in the work, when no one is watching. She couldn’t be a better example to all players in our program of what it means to be a PEAK athlete.
Her smile, her attitude and effort, her humility, her athletic ability, and her willingness to consistently find motivation to push herself and those around her, is very difficult to find in a player. She is being rewarded every single day, gaining an inner confidence about her, she did not possess, when I first met her. She is getting technically better, stronger, and developing a higher understanding of the “why” of soccer. She puts in the work, us coaches, reward effort. I have coached a lot of players. I have only coach a few players who understand what success, sports and adversity is all about. She is a player’s coach and we are fortunate to have Grace set the foundation for MLK Girls Soccer.
Grace has set the foundation for the team and never knew it. She has grown the most this season. She came in athletic. She wasn’t very skilled. Her touch today is amazing. She learned a new position and has proven to be a huge factor to our successful development this season. She listens, and listens well. Her work-ethic is hard to match. Her commitment, attitude, dedication, and effort has made her not only a starter this season, but a key part of our defense. Confidence comes when you work hard; Grace is developing that inner confidence to perform because it is working! You would never know the growth in her or believe how much she has transformed from day-1. It leaves you speechless. The exciting part, she keeps getting better and better, not only in herself and abilities, but also through her commitment and motivation to be the best person and teammate. She exemplifies what we are trying to teach every student-athlete. She is humble. She has great focus. She is coachable and will run through a wall for you, if asked. She continues to grow as a soccer player and person. Her passion for soccer is contagious. She wants it so badly and continues to find the motivation to work harder than the day before. Grace is not only and inspiration to us coaches, she is a true example of an individual who understands the life lessons learned through sports, applies them in her life, all while knowing as she walks off the field & the classroom, being able to say, “I left it all out there,” and doing it with humility and grace! She motivates me to work her harder to better our team. She steps to the challenge and our team has responded. She is a big part of our success this season and I cannot be more fortunate to coach a player that inspires me to be my best, but herself and her teammates, as well.
Written by Coach Brewer