- 9 Life Lessons I've Learned From Playing Soccer | TMA World
- Soccer Teaches Many Lessons On and Off the Field
- 15 life lessons from football that shouldn't be overlooked
I joined a soccer team.
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After I signed up, the person in charge asked me some questions, which I assumed were pretty straightforward based on the casual way in which he asked. But note that no one bothered to ask whether I'd ever actually played. I just want that to be clear. I never lied, really. This conversation, my first serious conversation about soccer, was among the first signs that I was perhaps making a mistake, and it was my first real chance to back out.
But the idiot inside me didn't read it that way. It felt more like a deepening of the challenge, which in turn strengthened my resolve to press on. Give me the form! So the organizer coach?
There's probably a sporty word I should be using here asked me right up front, "What position do you play? I knew that the correct response to this question was, "Well, I'm fairly new to the game, so I don't really know. Are there some drills or something we could run that would help us decide where I should play? Instead I told him, "Oh, you know, anywhere. I'm flexible. But my phrasing was somewhat misleading, as what I said translated to, "You can put me anywhere and I'll get the job done.
But that response was satisfactory, apparently, because next came a follow-up: "Cool. Do you generally play on the left or right? For those wondering how I know I'm left-footed: I went through a pretty serious ninja phase when I was in grade school, and as we all know, the three pillars of a solid ninja foundation are stealth, weaponry, and kicking. I didn't mention this part to the soccer guy.
Though in hindsight, it probably wouldn't have hurt. He seemed genuinely pleased by my left-footedness, which instilled in me a very temporary and unearned sense of relief and confidence. I'd somehow passed the only qualifying test, and I was officially on the team. When it became clear that this was actually happening, the very next thing I did was buy myself a Shock Doctor : crotch protection for the 21st century.
It's the cup that a male astronaut would use if his job was deflecting asteroids away from the Earth with his dick. I moved on this purchase fast, as the thought of dozens of swinging legs with spiked shoes awakened a fear in several parts of me that lasted for days. It was later that I found out soccer players don't wear cups, and if I were somehow discovered using one maybe by too casually shrugging off a blast to my marbles?
I'd be outed as an impostor, a newbie, and perhaps a huge sissy.
Obviously, the only solution was to go wild and free for game time. I firmly believe there are certain purchases that you cannot return in good conscience, even if you wore them only a couple times around the house while purposely running into things to test the carbon-flex technology.
9 Life Lessons I've Learned From Playing Soccer | TMA World
So now I have a superior, space-age nut hut that I can't use. Not for soccer, anyway. At least the Shock Doctor was something I was able to buy online without actually talking to anyone. Cleats were another thing entirely. I reluctantly walked into a sporting goods store the day before our first game procrastination being a temporary remedy for fearful anticipation. Have you seen soccer cleats these days? Adidas "Uhhh I'm more of an autumn?
Soccer Teaches Many Lessons On and Off the Field
Going to a retail sporting establishment to buy equipment I know nothing about is a contender for my handpicked specialty Hell. Double down on that if it's equipment that necessitates an interaction with a salesperson -- equipment like special shoes that come in an array of hues you can't even look directly at, categorized based on densely named variables such as "turf," "hard ground," "multiground," "soft ground," and "firm ground.
Before we even get to prices and fit, I'm supposed to know what the ground is going to be like on the field? And not only that, I have to imagine a distinction between "firm" and "hard"? At least with the Shock Doctor, my choices were limited to "standard protection" or "bullet deflection. My primary goal being to not stand out at all, I moved purposefully toward the only plain black pair of cleats on a wall marked SOCCER, and asked a nearby sales guy if he had them in my size.
I went to that section, careful to keep my back to the shoe guy in an effort to ward off any follow-up questions. It didn't work. Ah ha! This was a question to which I could immediately and confidently respond. Owing to a lack of knowledgeable assistance my fault, obviously , I ended up with black turf cleats a half-size too small and a set of shin guards clearly meant for someone with different leg genetics.
Game day. There's a charge in the air, a buzzing that's building steadily just out of audible range. It's mostly a feeling in your bones. The buzzing climaxes as the first whistle blows, turning directly into adrenaline-charged focus and determination as you and your teammates clash with the enemy. That's how I imagine it feels at kickoff when you know what you're doing. For me, the internal discussion the first whistle prompted was more like, "Oh, looks like we're starting.
Are we? Yes, definitely. Oh, never? There's a very concrete difference between not knowing how to do something in theory, and not knowing how to do something while you're in the middle of doing it. More specifically: As soon as the game started, panic and regret began battling for control of my emotional center, eventually agreeing to an equal share of the space. This was the first moment I really, sincerely wanted to quit soccer forever and maybe join the Peace Corps, but it was obviously way too late for any of that.
Because this is about to become important, I should mention: This being a rec league, we'd had no practice at all. I don't know how much it would have helped, of course, but it would have been an opportunity for me to fake an injury or get myself kicked off the team before it really mattered. So the first game was underway. I'd taken my place in the backfield on defense, which was a basic enough instruction for my sports-aware self. My immediate move was to sort of half-squat with my arms out, moving sideways, back and forth in what felt like an athletic-looking stutter step right in front of our goal.
I assumed this made me look poised for action and ready to take on all challengers, rather than scared shitless, wishing my shorts were full of Shock Doctor and that my shoes were the right size. Our team began with the ball. So for at least those first tense moments, the action was thankfully moving away from me. Oh my god, the ball! I hadn't even thought about that aspect of all this. It might sound insane, but if you're with me to this point, it shouldn't surprise you when I say that I had so much else on my mind leading up to this moment that it just never occurred to me to, you know, touch a soccer ball for the first time since middle school gym class.
The shouting started almost immediately. What portion of it was directed at me, I couldn't say for certain, but the teammates who knew my name certainly liked to use it. It's a helpless feeling when things around you are frantic, people are yelling things you don't understand, and you're too busy trying to parse what they're saying to display the type of urgency that's apparently required. I don't know if it was my inability to follow what I now know were basic instructions, or my laser-like focus on post-game drinking, but my teammates didn't pass me the ball much that first game, and that was quite possibly the best thing that could have happened.
That was the day I learned the importance of The biggest surprise of all is that it was really fun. Somehow I made it through that game, and somehow no one hated me except my doctor and my own body. I apologize if you got to this point hoping for a true horror story about the incredible failure that was my attempt to start playing soccer as an adult. For those on that trajectory, I offer this: It's not been a complete success.
I've been injured and have definitely humiliated myself several times in predictable ways. But really, the biggest failure of all was that I actually started to have fun playing soccer. My primary goal was to feel good just for going the distance and giving it a try, not to become a guy who seeks out a team sport for recreation.
I'd just never considered that, like hard drugs, massages, and having children, I should have avoided team sports because what if I really like it? Over time, I began to not seem so hopeless on the field. And "seem" is a very important word here. It takes a lot of time and, let's face it, youthful vigor to become proficient at a sport -- of which I have neither. View Product. Ce livre constitue un guide pratique qui Growing up in Tennessee, Jim Gumm was surrounded by fans of Southeastern Conference college football Growing up in Tennessee, Jim Gumm was surrounded by fans of Southeastern Conference college football teams.
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15 life lessons from football that shouldn't be overlooked
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