High Ladder To Climb: A Lower Tier American League Player's Story Part 3

Former Harrisburg Islanders defender Tyler Ruthven greets the team's fans after a game (Courtesy of Tyler Ruthven).

High Ladder To Climb is a feature for the Brotherly Game. Current Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) defender Tyler Ruthven gives readers insight into the life of a player in America's lower tier leagues. His updates will be about his continued quest to make it to MLS. Follow him as he details his day-to-day trials and tribulations based on the life he is able to live through the constraints of his job - and paycheck.

This entry is long overdue, but I must admit my mind has been on other things of late. It's said that winning is a habit and I strongly believe in that saying. If I have learned anything over my first two seasons as a pro it's that losing is a habit as well. I remember one analogy, in particular, from the movie "The Replacements" where Keanu Reeves refers to being in quicksand and that harder you try and dig out, the deeper the hole becomes.

We currently sit at 0-5-1 (that's five losses and a draw). The worst part of our record is that we are 0-4 at home. I am learning - as I did last year as well - that it takes a tremendous amount of mental homework and toughness to keep to your routine and believe in yourself during times such as these. It  would be way easier to just throw it in and say that this isn't possible we aren't capable of winning. Maybe its my genes, but I am not wired that way. I feel that the second you decide that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, there is no more room for growth.

Sure, I  have had some days here and there, in the first part of the season, when I feel like "how can I possibly advance my career if I'm not winning," but you have to get those thoughts out of your head as soon as possible. In this line of work that is the only option possible. If you don't agree, then you'll be finding a new job soon anyways. I go into every week with the mind set that this is the week that everything will come together during. I have no doubt that once we experience a win, we'll go on a tear.

To update you on some aspects of my personal life, I am still living at home and will probably stay there throughout the summer. My girlfriend is planning on moving into the city in August to save money. Having a father with experience in sports is a tremendous resource for me right now. It is great to be able to have him to talk to about the current state of things in the team and in my head.

I really wish I had more to share at this point but all there is right now is winning a game.

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