Passion is the name of the game

Courtesy of Bryane Heaberlin

North Carolina goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin has lofty goals and is working to develop the belief to achieve them.

My first semester at Carolina in the spring of 2012 was remarkable in many ways, on and off the field. I traveled with the U-20 women’s national team to Panama and all over the country in preparation for the Under-20 World Cup.

I missed a lot of school that spring and a lot of soccer with UNC. In one of our spring book club meetings with my pseudo freshman class (since I gray-shirted I didn't have a freshman class yet), coach Anson Dorrance wanted us to come up with a personal affirmation. Basically, he wanted us to choose two or three sentences that described how we wanted to play and develop. He wanted us to have our own self talk before every practice and game that would begin to teach our brain to believe it.

I went back to my dorm that night and started writing things down on a half sheet of printer paper. “Determined,” “strong,” “willing” and “hard work” were a few of the words I scribbled. Looking down at the paper with those words on it, I knew they were meaningless without a common thread: passion. My affirmation could be the most moving and inspirational two sentences I had ever written, but if the true meaning didn’t already pump through my veins, then my affirmation wouldn't fulfill its purpose.

After many more half sheets of printer paper, I came to this realization and wrote this affirmation: “I am the most explosive and consistent goalkeeper in the world. No one out-works me.’’

In this blog I will share my experiences as a Carolina student athlete on the road to bringing my affirmation to reality.