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My Journey to Israel and Coaching in the World Cup

If you say yes to every opportunity that presents itself, then you might just find yourself traveling the world, following a career path that allows you to continue a lifelong passion. I am such a lucky person; however there were bumps in the road along the way. It is easy to say no and play things safe, to save your money, to not pursue something in the fear of rejection or failure. It is these challenges and obstacles that make the end result so much sweeter. After all, the best things in life are worth fighting for.

In July 2016 I received a phone, inviting me to fly to Israel and tryout for their women’s national lacrosse team the following week. I almost immediately dismissed the idea as insane. Who would buy a plane ticket with only a few days to spare to try out for a team halfway around the world? I was retired and washed up after all, would I even make the team after getting all the way there? Absolutely not, the whole idea was crazy!  Well after sleeping on it, I did just that. I bought my plane ticket with the last of my savings, and 3 days later I was on a flight alone, flying to a country I had never been to, to chase a dream of going to the world cup. Why did I do this? Well I simply had nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

After several other bumps in the road, including but not limited to; the airline losing all of my goalie equipment and going through the tryout with used and borrowed equipment. I then survived the second round of tryouts to find myself not only as a member of the team but as the assistant coach for the team. Fast forward 10 months full of weekly phone calls with the board of directors in Israel, fundraising the 120k we needed as a team to get to the world cup, exhibition games, and countless details to perfect, I found myself in a beach in Netanya with the team ready to start training for our trip to England.

Our time spent in Israel as a team for our training camp in the weeks leading up to the world cup were nothing short of challenging, but they were also incredibly rewarding. We came together as a group of individuals and learned to play as a unit. We explored the country together that we were representing on our jerseys, and made sure to learn as much as we could from our native Israeli team members. Our time spent together as a team in Israel not only allowed us to grow closer to on another but closer to Israel and what it means to be a female Jewish athlete.

When we stepped foot on the field in Surrey for our first game of the 2017 Rathbones World Cup and we lined up and sang the Hatikvah as a team, it was an incredibly profound moment for all of us. Even the most stoic members of the team were overcome with the magnitude of where we were and what we were representing. All in all the World Cup was one of the most amazing experiences I will ever have.

It’s amazing that a “yes” can lead you down a path that is more rewarding than you could have ever imagined. It is a lesson that I have learned time and time again. It is a lesson that I was lucky enough to learn young. The places I have had the opportunity to go to, the things that I have seen, and most importantly the relationships that I have built have paid off tenfold. So be bold, take the risk, spend your last penny, and go have an adventure, because it could be the best decision of your life.

Kate E. Goldstien
Epoch Women Author

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