Editor's Note: Cami Levin read a letter she wrote to Slammers director of coaching Walid Khoury at the Slammers Celebration Saturday at the OC Mix in Costa Mesa. Levin, a Newport Coast native, said she wrote the letter during her senior year of high school at Tarbut V'Torah in Irvine. She said she also used the letter as her essay when she applied for Stanford, where she later starred on the women's soccer team.
Waiting on the sideline feeling both eager and nervous as we were about to take our first steps on the field I felt as though my legs were carrying 10-pound weights.
As I stood on the field as the captain of the U.S. under-17 national girls' soccer team I began to reflect on how I got to be in that position.
The first thing that came to me was Walid and the Slammers. My coach for nine years he not only trained me to be the best soccer player I could be but more importantly the best person.
I've learned lessons that not only apply to becoming successful on the field but to being a good human being. He has taught me that determination and heart can and will overcome any obstacles I'm faced with. And that nothing comes without practice and hard work.
He taught me never to compromise and never to give less than my best. And that you can't do less because it's similar to cheating.
He showed me that even if it appeared that you can get away with doing less it will catch up with you in the end.
He taught me all about what it means to work as team and to be a part of the team even if it results in personal sacrifice.
During those few seconds I realized that all the things I learned in soccer apply to real life as well.
On that special day when the whistle blew, I knew that because of Walid and the Slammers I was ready to take on anything both on and off the field.
— Cami Levin