Guest Post: Elise, My Kid, on Life as a Girl Athlete

photo credit: Sandtrooper via photopin (license)
photo credit: Sandtrooper via photopin (license)

Racecar driver Michael Andretti says he remembers the day he passes his famous father, Mario, on the racetrack for the first time.

guest post“Adios, dada,” he said.

Today, Elise says “adios, dada,” too.

Elise, the girl you might have read about here and here and most definitely here, has written a guest post for today. I asked her a while ago to write about life as a girl athlete – and she delivered, in a big way.

A sassy, big way sometimes. But always true to her heart. I’ve watched this kid become a young woman, and still see the girl I could carry on my shoulders when I see her.

I hope she sees me as the man who did. And who will always be here for her.

Elise has answered, with her sisters, questions I get from Q4KIDZ. She’s illustrated some posts on this blog. And she’s the soccer player you’ve often read about lately, who’s on the lookout for a good fit of a college program.

Please give Elise a warm CD welcome in her bloggy debut.

photo credit: Imperial Woman's Weekly via photopin (license)
photo credit: Imperial Woman’s Weekly via photopin (license)

Life As A Girl Athlete

“You can beat her!”

“Come on ,don’t let her do that to you!”

“ Don’t let her beat you!”

“ She’s just a girl!”

I hear this a lot. Most people might get offended if they get talked to like that, but I don’t. I smile. I laugh a little. Then I give them hell.

I have played soccer ever since I could remember. Granted, I have a horrible memory. I guess I was about 5 when I started, so that makes this year my 12th as a soccer player. I like to think I know the game better than anyone else, and I make that known. Don’t ever mention watching soccer games around my sisters or they will immediately tell you not to invite me. I like to talk to the players. Loudly.

soccer refsAnd the refs, and the coaches, and the people in the stands. I tell them what I think about the calls, and the goals, and that bitchy player on the other team … even though they can’t hear me through the screen. It’s okay though. I feel as though I help them.


Imagine this… you’re in fourth grade. You’re at recess playing soccer along with the rest of the nasty, sweaty, cootie-infested boys in your class, and this girl walks up to you and asks if she could play. You’d probably laugh a little and shake your head. A girl, you think, she can’t play soccer… well you nasty, sweaty, cootie-infested boy, you have never been more wrong in your life. I played. I won. I made one boy cry. It was a pretty good recess if you ask me.

Growing up with all girls, you’d think that I would be scared of playing against boys, or at least intimidated, but I was the exact opposite. I loved playing against boys, other than the fact that they have this very strong smell that you can’t really place. Its somewhere between last weeks dirty soccer laundry and roadkill. I loved the rush it gave me. Its like the gazelle was chasing the lion. Nine times out of ten the gazelle won.

And it pissed everyone off. It was amazing. The coaches who were too big to get off of the benches turned red and threw things. The parents jumped up and down on the sidelines asking for a non-existent penalty ( I guess getting fouled by a girl is somehow better than getting beat by one). And the players on the other team got their “game faces” on and started taking cheap shots. I got beat up. A lot. But I didn’t mind it.

Getting bruises and scratches and scars is like getting memories tattooed on you by Mother Nature. There’s always a story.

Being an athlete, you have to overcome a lot. Not only do you have to overcome the game itself, you have to overcome the players, the coaches, the refs, the field conditions, the burger you ate as a pre-game snack, and the loud-ass mom on the sideline who talks junk about random players on both teams, what she bought at Wal-mart, and what she’s making for dinner.

photo credit: Old Trafford via photopin (license)
photo credit: Old Trafford via photopin (license)

People are annoying, telling you what you can and can’t do. Whether it’s going that party, getting the shoes that everybody has, or in my case, my ability to play soccer. I know my dad has told you about me taking bitches’ souls and that one time I defeated that Mexican God or whatever. I can play soccer. I know I can. A lot of people know I can. But that doesn’t stop the boys at The Turfs from rolling their eyes when I’m put on their teams, not passing to me even when I’m the only one open and in perfect position to score, or when I do have the ball and no one challenges me.

To me, nothing is more disrespectful than not trying. If you challenge me and beat me, good for you. But, please, don’t just not try.

Why is having a pony tail and your nails painted weak? Just because I look good, doesn’t mean I can’t kick your ass, it just means that I look that much better doing it. Being a girl isn’t an excuse, it’s an advantage. Boys will be boys and will continue to doubt what all a girl can do. The best thing we can do is smile at them, laugh a little, and feel bad for their moms, cause they’re about to watch their little boys get beat by a girl.

And its okay. Girls are strong. We’re smarter. We live longer. And the least we can do is rub it in boy’s faces every now and again. It’s about time we take the saying You play like a girl as a compliment. Hell yeah I play like a girl, and you sure as hell can’t beat me.

[Support Elise in her effort to play soccer in college, here.]

hamm quote


  1. Lyn says:

    You rock, Elise! Keep rubbing their noses in the dirt 🙂 I love it when your Dad posts about your and your sisters and your soccer ability. Three of my grandchildren play soccer. The youngest (Eliza) is eight, and the boys hate it when she’s on the team playing against them. I’m sure her motto is “take no prisoners.” I hope you have a fabulous time at soccer camp and are headhunted by the very best college of your choice.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’ve told her she can answer comments today – I hope she does, Lyn!

    2. Madison says:

      Haha that is pretty great motto! Thank you I had a great time at the camp and Im working at getting these colleges to see me.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        I should do like Cam Newton’s dad and ask schools to give me $200,000 to get you to go there.

  2. Absolutely love Elise’s guest post and am truly hopeful that my own soccer playing daughter will have a similar way of thinking about this as she grows up now, too!! 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I look at her now, Janine, and I see a strong, confident player – but I also see the kid whose shorts went past her knees and who played with her pigtails when she was on the field.

  3. kismaslife says:

    Elise, you nailed this post! Best wishes for the future and achieving those goals and not taking any crap from anyone who thinks woman can’t play sports.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      She’s lucky to have great role models for this too, Tiff.

      1. kismaslife says:

        She is very blessed as are you my friend.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I meant Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe and such!

    2. Madison says:

      Thank you so much! If they give me crap I shut it down real quick.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        This is why your sisters have been great trainers, kid.

  4. Kim says:

    Way to go, Elise!

    We just started Prime on a 4 year old soccer team. Most times, he’s too busy playing robot to notice the ball, but this last week he was playing his heart out!

    Probably because he knew we had Transformers fruit snacks for after the game. But still… He played hard and he loved it. Makes me wish I knew the rules. I’ll learn with him, I guess. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Never underestimate the influence of the post-game snack, Kim!

      (And look out soon for Elise’s second post – a review of these great compression socks.)

      1. Kim says:

        Oh, the power of food is real. I’m sure people think I’m kidding when I say I’ll do stuff (like watch their kids for a few hours) for a plate of cookies.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’d barter childcare, lawncare or wrestle a brown bear for a plate of cookies.

  5. You go, Elise! Good luck with soccer camp, and take no prisoners on your way to making your dreams come true. 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Can’t wait to write that post Sara. Maybe Elise will steal it from me.

  6. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Kick-ass post, Elise! I have never been one to play sports but one to watch and I hate when it’s obvious people are afraid to challenge one another, for whatever reason. If you’re gonna play, go for it!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      it’s all out with this kid.

  7. Kathy G says:

    This sounds like a darn good college essay to me.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I like this idea, Kathy!

  8. Ann Koplow says:

    Best guest post, ever. Yay, Elise!!!!!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Ann – I told her she needs to step out of the dugout and tip her hat … she’ll be along to give some responses soon (I don’t have wi-fi at school! was her excuse.)

    2. Madison says:


      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        That means a lot, because we’ve had some real champs up in here.

  9. ksbeth says:

    great job, elise! i loved your post and your quotes. i see that you have learned from the best, your dad, and that you are a force to be reckoned with in your own right –

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      beth, you wouldn’t believe how proud i was of her going against a nationwide (and international) field of recruits at nova southeastern over the weekend!

    2. Madison says:

      Thank you! Yeah my dads a big help with this too

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        We were like Karate Kid and Mr. Miagi walking out on that field, beth.

  10. tamaralikecamera says:

    You rock, Elise! You show those nasty, sweaty, cootie-infested boys. Also, they totally smell worse than girls. It’s a thing. I have a son and a daughter so I can prove this.
    This is the best guest post ever!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Once, she stepped in for me and coached my team, and won big. I lost when I came back. Maybe she should have her own blog!

    2. Madison says:

      They do! You can smell them as the run past you … it knocks you back a step sometimes

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Except for your dad. Your dad smells nice. Or like cheese enchiladas at least.

  11. This post made me smile out loud 😉 Love the description of what boys smell like. I am raising one of those and football season kills me. EVERY PRACTICE AND GAME DAY. I wear rubber gloves to sort laundry. Two favorite quotes for this post, “Being a girl isn’t an excuse, it’s an advantage” and “Nothing is more disrespectful than not trying”.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I texted Elise to tell her she’d been quoted on Twitter, and she thought that was pretty cool!

  12. dishofdailylife says:

    Good luck, Elise! You go get ’em! Sounds like any college team will be lucky to have you!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m biased, but I think the kid’s a game-changer, Michelle.

  13. Rorybore says:

    Oh yeah, nailed it! Keep taking names and fighting like a girl, hell yeah. I remember playing volleyball against the boys team in high school, and the boys spiking the balls so hard at us every single time. no other game play – just spike the heck out of it and hopefully hit one of us. The smirks on their faces probably visible from space. Until, they see those spikes start popping straight up into perfect passes. Pass, set, spike… whoops, sorry about your nose buddy. Awww, did I step our your moment? Good. The best part was seeing our male coach sitting on bench, a big ole grin on his face and nodding his head at us with pride. I’m guessing you know that look. 🙂

    1. Madison says:

      I know that looks so well! Its either that big grin or a man-i-feel-sorry-for-your-boys-prides look

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        I might have yelled “he’s just a boy!” a couple of times in your career.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      She likes to cause that look, Rore.

  14. I loved this Elise! I grew up with four brothers so I went through school the same way, only it was basketball for me. I hope you continue to kick ass! If you go to Converse and every need a hand just give me a yell!

    1. Madison says:

      Somehow, I have found that im not coordinated enough for basketball … but i will definitely give you a yell thank you!

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Your sister proved the differences between a basketball foul and a soccer foul are vast.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      We’re going next weekend to check out a game and meet the team, Rena.

  15. 1jaded1 says:

    I love this. My niece is your age and I read so much in common with your words. I read this before and still can’t find the words to comment….you win and boys do smell funny, they always have.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think playing against boys has made all my girls better over time, J.

  16. Louise says:

    Oh I love this! Go Elise go! Such a great post about sticking with, loving, and excelling at a sport. I remember beating the boys at swimming – and LOVING it. I remember high school swimming and the early practices in the year before certain boys knew I could, well, totally smoke them. They would assume they should go first in the lane. Running them over was fun. Challenging silly assumptions is good for the soul. Like tattoos from Mother Nature.

    I hope my daughters love a sport this much through their teens. Wishing you every success!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Louise! She’s loved the response. I’m so proud of her and her resolve. We can say all day that gender bias doesn’t exist, but it does, and I can’t blame a girl for a fist-pump when they bust through.

      Tattoos from Mother Nature … I loved that one, too. I wonder if she knows how much I admire her.

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