This story, featuring Natatlie Goodman, a senior on the UGA Soccer Team, was written by Yash Bhika was originally published in The Red & Black.
Instead of just warming up with her teammates before a game against Kennesaw State on Sep. 11, 2016, Georgia senior Natalie Goodman was also warming up her vocal chords. Before the game, Goodman sang the national anthem.
Goodman, who is senior, is known as a soft spoken person, so her peers and coaches were caught off guard by her voice.
“Well the first time I heard her singing before a game, I felt the goosebumps,” Mariel Gutierrez, who is Goodman’s roommate said. “I got so hype after that. I’m not from America, and I felt the freaking anthem”
Most of her teammates felt just as pumped after Goodman finished singing, and the adrenaline rush they felt carried them to a 1-0 win that day.
But, performing in front of people has never been easy for the shy singer.
Her timidness started in Kindergarten when her class was required to sing the national anthem.
Things did not go as planned for the young singer on that day.
“When I was in Kindergarten, I had such bad stage fright that I stayed in the room and cried, and I didn’t [sing the National Anthem],” Goodman said.
She never performed in front of anybody until she was 13 years old, so her talent wasn’t recognized until her middle school chorus teacher saw the potential in her.
“My chorus teacher was like, ‘Oh, you can sing a little bit. Why don’t you sing out louder.’ I was like, ‘Okay, I guess so.’” Goodman said.
Once getting into high school, Goodman started to sing the national anthem before some of the football games, and was the lead singer for her Jazz band.
“I’m an anxious person,” Goodman said. “So, just being able to conquer my fear of singing in front of people has helped me conquer my fear of being able to play in front of people too.”
Then, after arriving at Georgia, Goodman was part of a band, but they broke up.
So, during her sophomore year she taught herself how to play the acoustic guitar.
“I really wanted to continue my music because it was so therapeutic for me, and it is relaxing,” Goodman said. “I needed something to accompany me singing, so I just kind of taught myself [how to play the guitar].”
One of the first songs Goodman learned how to play was a Taylor Swift song,but she doesn’t remember the name of it.
She mainly sticks to country music and the pop genre, playing songs from Miranda Lambert, Sugarland, Charlie Puth and many others.
“I have the [songs] on my little iPad music app, and I go through and I play around the house,” Goodman said. “I have fun with it.”
Gutierrez always hears Goodman playing her guitar around their place, so sometimes she’ll ask for a song to be played.
“I know Mariel really likes “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran, so sometimes she’ll come upstairs and say,‘Oh, can you play that song for me? Can you play that song I like?’ I’m like, ‘Okay I’ll do it,’ and just to see her smile makes me happy.”
Goodman doesn’t just play in the comfort of her own home, she often ventures out and plays in downtown Athens.
Some of the venues she’s played at have been Tazikis, Butt Hutt and Mamma Jewles Kitchen. She usually starts off her performance with “Stay” by Sugarland.
“It’s definitely nerve racking, and I’m pretty uncomfortable when I [perform],” Goodman said. “Especially, when I have to talk to the crowd and stuff because I’m so awkward about that thing. But it is really fun, and I feel like I get more comfortable each time I do it.”
Luckily for Goodman, her teammates try to come out to most of her gigs. No matter the location, her teammates always get pumped from hearing her sing.
Goodman, uses singing to help contribute to the team because dealing with injuries has derailed her on-field impact.
“I feel like my contributions on the field have been limited,” Goodman said. “If I can inspire the team by singing the National Anthem, or playing my guitar for everybody then that’s my role. I’m very excited to pump my team up that way.
She plans on singing the National Anthem for more home games for Georgia.
Goodman plans to continue her music career in the future, and even plans to write her own songs one day.
“I have such a spiritual connection to music,” Goodman said. “If I can share that with other people, and have them get moved in the same way that I can by music then that is amazing”