Soccer goalkeeper performs on and off field


Andrew Resnick, Print sports editor

For the past thousand years or so, watching sports has become a standard method of entertainment for people. Dating all the way back to the ancient Romans with the gladiators, fast forwarding now to major, four billion dollar sports leagues in the U.S., sporting events have historically encapsulated millions of people at once. Athletics has found its way into virtually every community in the U.S. today, with state and local governments investing billions of dollars annually to help accommodate school football or basketball teams.
Although almost everyone who watches sporting events has an enjoyment of the event, the one thing that us sports viewers take for granted is the amount of time that it takes these athletes to practice perfecting their abilities in their respective sports. No matter what the sport, and no matter what the level, for high school, college and professional athletes, an incredible amount of time and effort is put in by each individual player to perfect his or her game. This means that for many college and high school athletes it is almost impossible to be able to do anything outside of studying for school and practicing their sport, including obtaining a job.
For junior Grace Birk, a goalie for the girls’ soccer team this season, the time commitment that is demanded both by high school sports and academics in addition to her after school job has really helped in regard to her organization and time management.
“It was definitely worth it,” Birk said about balancing her job with schoolwork and soccer. “I feel as though I focused on schoolwork more when I was working because I knew I had to be somewhere later, so my work was always done much earlier.”
With an already rigid schedule, it is even more extraordinary that Birk finds time three to four days a week to work at the smoothie bar at LA Fitness from 7-11 p.m.
“It first started out with my mom constantly joking around that I needed a job to pay for all of the clothes that I want,” Birk said. “But then I realized that I wanted to have something to do once WJ soccer was over.”
Although the soccer season came to an end recently, Birk is also a member of another soccer team. The Crusaders FC, her club team, which runs throughout the fall season, takes up time, but not nearly as much as WJ soccer.
“Even though the soccer season is over for WJ, I play on a different team,” Birk said. “But this team is like a family and kind of a joke.”
Despite the close of the school soccer season, Birk still finds it tough to have any free time to herself.
“I definitely don’t have as much free time [as before], I have a lot of other responsibilities like babysitting my nephews,” Birk said.
Birk believes that if people who are on sports teams have the opportunity to get a job outside of school, they should take up the chance.
“I think that if you’re motivated and like what you’re doing, it can be lot of fun, and it’s a nice way to make your own money,” she said.