we’re excited to introduce her soul shot’s newest team member! Brynn is excited to continue her passion for soccer and sports by diving into a new role as a student intern with her Soul Shot. Stay tuned for more posts, activities and opportunities Brynn is involved in at her Soul Shot this year. Welcome, Brynn!
MEET BRYNN NASH
I have dedicated so much of my life to my sport. Sometimes I have trouble defining myself without it. I have been playing soccer since I was four years old and playing soccer at the high-performance level since I was 12. Being 22 and soon graduating from university, I have realized that so much of who I am today has been shaped and influenced by my sporting experiences.
While growing up, sport was always present in my household. My parents and older brother all participated in sport, so naturally, I gravitated towards playing sport. Soccer was not necessarily love at first sight. Unlike my Timbit teammates, my mom constantly had to tell me to stop picking flowers and to participate. My earliest memory of playing soccer involves wearing pink velcro shoes, crying because the sun was melting away my face paint as I played and being chatty with my best friend as we chased butterflies across the field. Like I said, not exactly love at first sight. But sport and soccer eventually became so much more to me.
One of my biggest soccer influences and role models today is my mom. She coached my grassroots and most of my youth level teams before I pursued the high-performance level of soccer. My mom is a true example of how passion and hard work can provide you with opportunities in life. Soccer has always been a passion of hers, and she has continuously found ways to incorporate soccer into her life and give back to the sport she loves. While attending university, she and a good friend started the women’s soccer program. Though she was only able to play at the university level for a short period of time, she never let the end of her university career stop her involvement in the sport. She began her coach education, coached majority of my youth soccer teams and then even when I moved to a higher level, she continued to coach other young soccer players. She has also worked within the sport and soccer industry for over 20 years. My mom’s passion for soccer enabled her to stay involved for years through various opportunities. She was even able to eventually get my dad to participate in co-ed beer league soccer.
Seeing how sport was able to bring my mom so much passion, joy and memories over the years enabled me to want to continue to play the sport I grew to love at a higher level. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to represent my home province on numerous occasions and be a part of a few national high-performance programs. My dedication and love for soccer also provided me with the opportunity to pursue a university academic degree. At the end of the summer of 2017, I moved across the country and began my university athletic career.
Fast forward five years, the experiences, friendships, achievements, hardships and lessons I have learned through my sport have influenced me greatly. I have trouble introducing myself and not including words like “athlete” or “soccer player” and often think about who I will be after graduation in the spring. So much of my life has been characterized, influenced and shaped through playing the sport I love. I worry that I will lose my identity when I graduate; that if I am no longer the athlete I once was, then who am I?
My mom once said to me: “Play at the highest level you can for as long as you can, because once you can’t, you will be wishing you could every time you play after that.”. I have appreciated and loved every minute of being a high-performance and university athlete. I have learned to work hard for what I wish to accomplish and never back down from a challenge. I have learned that with challenges comes perseverance. Sport has also taught me that even when you feel alone, you have a whole team and support section cheering you on whenever you need it. The teammates I have had taught me kindness, accountability, and trust. Coaches I have had taught me commitment, humility and to believe in myself.
Thinking about my time as a high-performance and university athlete is bittersweet as I am proud of my accomplishments but feel as though I am leaving a part of my life behind. That closing this chapter of my life means I will never be able to reopen it. But, just because I will no longer be the athlete I once was doesn’t mean I leave the sport entirely. I also don’t lose my lessons of kindness, commitment and perseverance. These are standards and characteristics that I will carry into my adulthood, careers, relationships and unknown challenges for the rest of my life. And just as my mom did, I will find many other ways to incorporate my passion for the game into my life moving forward. Soccer will be a part of my life in my friendships made from it, from coaching and volunteering, supporting and cheering on other female athletes and hopefully playing in a fun co-ed beer league someday. I am grateful for everyone and everything soccer has brought into my life today. After reflecting on what I have learned and gained through soccer thus far, I cannot wait to see where it will take me in the future. Thank you, soccer.