Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sense and Soccer-ability

I love soccer, love watching, playing, thinking about strategy.  Don't hate, I love football too, American football but a soccer game played well can be a thing of beauty.  Not that we saw much of this in the last World Cup, though a couple of the US moments at the end rank incredibly high on the intense-o-meter.  Lost my mind in a couple of those games, ask my wife, she thinks I'm a lunatic!

I played soccer in High School.  I was no where near the best, closer to the worst if I'm honest, though not as bad as stories have gotten over the years.  I never kicked myself in the nose as has been told to many a kids group by some of my great friends from Vandalia HS.  I did, however, miss a wide open goal with a header once, right off my eyeball.  But I never quit, as goofy as I looked, and my defense stood strong!

I remember one specific kick in one specific game.  I was never the most confident player, which I realize now only added to my lack of talent.  I often miss kicked because I was unsure that the ball would go where I wanted it to in the first place.  My belief that something could go wrong when I kicked the ball won out more often than not.

But this one kick, deep in the backfield, close to my goal, keeper calling out where the striker is, ball striving to me.  The mind is funny, knowing what it should tell the body to do, believing it may do it wrong, but acting anyways with so many thoughts rushing all at once.  I slid to position and prepared for the worst, a mis-kick that would lead to a goal and our loss.

Suddenly, out of no where, my sweeper screams at me!  I didn't need to look, only act.   The embedded belief that I would jack it up vanished like a fart in the wind (Yes, I stole that).  I stepped to the ball in mid roll, put my foot on the ground in stride, and blasted it to my midfielder streaking down the field.  No idea what happened after that, memory fades, except for the word.  The one word that inspired belief in my action.  My ally had belted the word, "Confidence!"

That simple act, getting me to be confident in the fact that we had practiced, learned, focused, and re-practiced this over and over and when it counted it was time to come through, not wonder if I would, because I could, I simply had to act and fall back on my training.

This carried far beyond this moment, though I'm not sure I realized it until today.  Desire to do well and do right is nullified by a wonder if it will come to fruition.  Confidence in training and belief is what leads to action.  It's easy to fall back away from this, I do it all the time without even realizing.  Put in the training and then stand in the confidence, more often than not, you will be satisfied with the results, though sometimes you may be accused of kicking youself in the nose!


  1. nice. i played soccer as a kid as well...had asthma back then as was a beast. but confidence, yeah i got a little...smiles.

  2. we can do anything with a little true!

    I like soccer better than football! My hubs played in

  3. You must be willing to make mistakes to win. I think soccer is the sport with athletes who have the best all around talent.