Tenacity Bay Area
Claremont McKenna ’20
As a goalie, Sara Reid is no stranger to pressure and the nerves that come along with it. She might have been a little nervous when, as a freshmen at Monte Villa High School, she first held a lacrosse stick and stepped into the cage. She might’ve been a little nervous when she tried out for her Tenacity team at an early-season practice or when she had to make a decision about where to go to college. But she had a blast on her first day playing and this fall, just four short years later, she’s heading off to Claremont McKenna to continue her lacrosse and academic careers, so I’d say she’s found a way to conquer those nerves! Sara says that Theresa Sherry gave her the best advice: “Nerves are a good thing. They show that you care—but you also need to learn how to control them.” She uses visualization and breathing techniques to prepare herself for big games, big tests and anything else that comes her way, and she understands that being an athlete is not just about the work you do on the field—the sprints, the wall ball, the juggling. It’s what you do off the field as well.
I caught up with Sara just hours before she left for Uganda on Monday night. Bon voyage, Sara, from all of us back here at Tenacity!
You’re leaving for Africa tonight. What’s the trip for?
Kira Weiss has an organization called Fund-A-Field and I’m going over there with that organization. We’re going to host a soccer tournament and a lacrosse tournament in Uganda and help the kids learn how to play. I’m really excited. We’re trying to spread lacrosse. We get teams in California to donate sticks and we bring them over. I didn’t go last year, but my sister went and she said the girls had so much fun playing. They love the sticks and the goggles – everything! I think we might bring some of the Workout Wednesday’s over there.
Will you be bringing anything else that you’ve learned through Tenacity?
Oh, definitely. I’m really looking forward to helping the goalies. Last year they didn’t really have a goalie coach—and I’m not a coach, but I know a lot about the position.
How did you decide to be a goalie?
I played soccer throughout middle school, but not really at a high level. I played goalie and had a lot of fun with it, and then in high school I just really wanted to play a sport. I felt like I could make an impact on the school if I could play a sport, but soccer at my high school is really competitive. You have to be on the best club team to make it. Then my friend said she was going to try out for lacrosse and that there were no cuts, and I thought, ‘Oh, that sounds good.’ I thought maybe I’d make the JV team, but I just really wanted to play. And then they sent out an email asking for goalies, so I started playing goalie. I had a lot of fun at tryouts. I was put on JV and then halfway through the year I made Varsity. I improved a lot!
I love that lacrosse is new enough out here that school teams are really open and encouraging so much growth, that you don’t have to be really experienced going into it—like you would have with your school’s soccer program.
Yeah. If they had cut me, my life would have been so different. I’m grateful for that.
As a goalie, you bring something very unique to the team. Any advice for younger girls in the cage?
It’s such an intimidating position. Most people want to be that star attacker, but if you make a big save with a minute left, you have that star moment. It’s a very rewarding position. I have a lot of sense on the field as well, and I have a lot of mental toughness.
Theresa mentioned that you talked to her about mental toughness the night before the Novato game this spring, and that you had an incredible game! What role does mental toughness play in how you prepare to take the field?
Mental toughness plays a huge part in how I play. Goalie is an athletic position, but it’s so much about mental toughness. Your team really relies on you to have that. The Novato game was by far the biggest game of my life, and at school, before we had to leave, I just put my head phones in and was visualizing a lot. Visualizing before any game, and honestly anything in life, helps me so much. You know what you’re going to do before you do it. I like visualizing low saves because those are the hardest for me. The breathing techniques I learned with Tenacity are important to me too, even in other nervous situations in my life.
Have you had any obstacles that you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest mental block I have is when I’m not really playing well in a game and I start to get down on myself for letting four or five goals in. Going into halftime, I try to juggle a ball or doing something to reset my mind. That’s a mental block that I’ve had to deal with for four years. And then this year I sprained my ankle and I had to come back after a three day weekend. My ankle was really hurting, but I knew I had to do it for my team and push through the pain.
How did you decide on Claremont McKenna?
It was a really hard process for me. I knew I wanted to play lacrosse in college. I had a DI offer my junior year, but I turned it down because I didn’t feel ready to make that decision and I knew other opportunities would come later. Then I started talking to Coach Uhr at Claremont and I went to the camp. I really liked Claremont, but I was also really interested in the University of Michigan for academics. I would have played club lacrosse there. They’re really different schools and I was really confused about the decision, but I ended up choosing Claremont because it’s just such a great school. I really like that with Division III, it’s a big commitment but you can still focus on your academics, and the location is beautiful. It’s only an hour from home on a plane, or a six hour drive. So it’s a good distance but still close.
Do you know when you’re going to major in yet?
I think either biology or mathematics. I’m not really sure.
Any other activities you might want to pursue?
My sister is the president of a club called Voice for Animals and I was the secretary, so I might want to keep doing something like that—helping animals. But I’m also excited to go down there and meet new people and see what they’re interested in. I’m really open to new activities and I really want to go in with an open mind.
What kind of work does Voice for Animals do?
We volunteer at ARF, the Animal Rescue Foundation thirty minutes from my house. We run drives and donate supplies for animals. In our meetings we try to raise awareness of what’s happening in circuses and at places like Sea World. Most people aren’t even aware of that animal abuse—the scars on their bodies or the small living spaces.
What are you going to miss the most about high school?
The best decision I made was to play lacrosse and I’m definitely going to miss my team and the entire program. Some of my best friends are on that team. And I’m going to miss seeing certain people all the time—the ones that I probably won’t see again.
Written By: Courtney Bird
June 23th, 2016