5 Reasons Why You Should Play Soccer

5 Reasons Why You Should Play Soccer

Trust me, it's awesome.
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When I was eleven, I was lost. I didn’t have a core group of friends who were willing to stay together no matter what. I was just barely out of elementary school when my friend’s dad offered me a spot on his soccer team. I soon found out that a few of the girls from my school were on the team and I subsequently said yes. We were the Rock Creek Valley Griffins, and we were terrible. But that isn’t the point. The point is that being on this team gave me the friends I never knew I needed and taught me a lot along the way. So here are five lessons I have learned from playing soccer!

1. Teamwork

You’re probably thinking that every sport requires teamwork, which isn’t wrong. But, teamwork in soccer is different. There are no plays to be executed like in football or basketball, nor is it a stop and go type of game that requires minimal interaction with others. Soccer is all about communication; it teaches kids skills they could not get anywhere else.

2. Patience

If you are not a patient person, then this is the sport that will teach you that. Yes, soccer is fast and requires thinking quickly on your feet. But half of the time you are waiting for the ball to come to you and you need to WAIT. Think before you act.

3. Leadership

Especially when you are young, you have no idea how to lead a group of people. Usually, you’re fine just being a follower and waiting for someone else to step up. In soccer, you can’t do that. This is a sport in which you become a leader every time you have the ball on the field. You have to decide whether to keep it and shoot or pass it because you don’t have a clear shot. It is your job to keep the other team from stealing the ball from you. In that moment, it is all on you. All of soccer is about making the right decision as a leader.

4. Work Ethic

When you are on the field, you are never allowed to give up. Whenever the ball crosses the middle of the field into your half, everyone needs to spring back to keep the other team from making a goal. You always need to be hypervigilant even when you are on the sidelines. The second you stop paying attention or you stop running, you are done. Soccer teaches you to never ever stop trying.

5. Physical Health

If you eat something unhealthy before a game, you will feel it when you play. The cramps and lethargy will be too real. If you don’t go to practice or work out every day, you will feel awful. Arguably the most important aspect of soccer is that it teaches you the importance of maintaining your physical health. If you do not take care of yourself, you are essentially screwed in this sport and in life. Working out and eating well boosts your self-esteem, helps you perform better in school, keeps you more alert, and makes sleeping more effective than if you do not play.

Cover Image Credit: Michael Goldberg

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7 Things That Annoy Volleyball Players More Than Anything

How to get under a volleyball player's skin in two seconds.
Sam
Sam
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I'm not sure why but volleyball players are a very particular group of people — we like what we like and we HATE what we don't, especially when it is volleyball-related. If you're a volleyball player, I'm sure you can relate to this list and if you're not a volleyball player, now you know exactly how you will be able to get under our skin.

1. Girls who wear spandex in public

Don’t get me wrong, we wear spandex for a living. We understand WHY people wear them to workout. But wearing them to the dining hall, class or anywhere that isn’t the gym… please don’t. Put on some shorts or leggings — PLEASE.

2. The “I’ll beat you in volleyball” line

For some odd reason when someone who likes you finds out that you play volleyball, they say this. I’m not sure why, but its really annoying that people think they’re better than you (a collegiate athlete) at the sport you’ve been playing your whole life.

3. When guys mention that they only come to your games because you wear spandex

You’re right, why would any appreciate our athletic ability when you can simply appreciate our butts.

4. Freshman who don’t think they have to do their Freshman duties

PSA: Every single school has freshman duties; YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY FRESHMAN WHO HAVE TO DO THEM. Everyone has done them when they were a freshman. Stop complaining, do your duties, and play volleyball because after your freshman season you’ll never have to do it again.

5. When people try to tell you that volleyball isn’t hard

Why don’t you jump for three hours straight and throw your body on the ground hundreds of times and tell me how easy it is.

6. The word "spike"

I honestly feel bad about hating this so much but nothing nothing NOTHING annoys us more than when someone uses the work "spike". For some reason this word went out of style a longgggg time ago and nobody got the memo except the people in the volleyball world. Instead of telling your friend that they had a good spike, tell them that they had a great "hit." HIT = SPIKE.

7. Balls that aren't perfectly blown up

Volleyball players are hands down the most high maintenance group of people when it comes to our sport. I will go through an entire ball cart to find the best ball possible... if the ball is flat, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad. If the ball is too hard, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad.

Cover Image Credit: Sam
Sam
Sam

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The Ronaldo Effect

CR7's Newest Transfer

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It finally happened. The infamous Cristiano Ronaldo has left the perennial superpower Real Madrid and has taken his talents to Turin. Now what?

Every summer over the past three years there has been rumors about Ronaldo being unhappy at Real Madrid. Whispers of a rift between Ronaldo and Real's president, Florentino Perez, have been said to be one of the reasons that caused Ronaldo to leave. Others have stated that legal troubles over tax evasion have led to Ronaldo being unsettled living in Spain. A quick search will also reveal stories about how Ronaldo felt betrayed by his club not rewarding him with contracts similar to Messi and Neymar despite winning consecutive Ballon d'Or trophies and Champions League finals.

Now, all of that is in the past. Cristiano is a Juventus player.

You can have the Messi-Ronaldo debate all you want but the undisputed fact is that when a player of Ronaldo's caliber and influence completely changes the direction of his career, there are going to be massive ripple effects across the whole footballing world.

The first major change that will happen will be in Real Madrid. What direction will the storied club take? Who will be the next Galactico that they decide to go buy? Immediately following the transfer, the rumor mill started turning. The first three players brought up as a replacement for Ronaldo include Eden Hazard, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. Of course, each of those players would probably require a world record transfer price.

So, what effect does this have on the rest of the transfer market? Essentially, the market would be in a position where the world record transfer price is getting broken on a yearly basis. This yearly rate exponentially drives up the average transfer price of the rest of the market. A player historically worth fifteen million dollars would now be selling for nearly forty to fifty million dollars. At that point, transfers that size are only financially feasible for a small pool of clubs around the world. The way that FIFA has tried to curb this is by creating Financial Fair Play rules. However, the enforcement of these rules is shoddy at best and has not been effective at stopping world record transfers or helping smaller clubs.

My take on this is that if you're going to have laws meant to curb the average transfer price down than it better be strictly enforced. If the rules do not enforce the purpose than FIFA should adopt a free market policy. There simply cannot be laws in place that give the disguise of regulation but in action actually, do nothing. It has corruption written all over it. And we all know about FIFA's history of ethical practices.

Remember, this all comes from the transfer of the notorious CR7.

The other place where Ronaldo's transfer will have major repercussions is in the Serie A, Italy's top flight of club soccer. By joining Juventus, Ronaldo has bolstered a team that continually dominates Serie A year after year. Yet, the Champions League trophy has eluded Juventus despite reaching the final in two of the last four years. Juventus fans will hope that Ronaldo's skill and experience will be the missing piece of the puzzle that will allow them to achieve Champions League glory. Additionally, Juventus has been trying to break the mold and enter into what is considered the top three clubs in the world: Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich. The coming of Ronaldo and in-game success that Juventus has had in their history surely at least puts The Old Lady in that debate now.

Now, let's talk about Serie A as a whole. While Serie A used to be one of the top landing spots and most desirable leagues to play in, following corruption scandals and economic turmoil, Serie A took a major fall from grace. Custom to most sports, when there is money to be made, people will step in and fix issues until there is a profit. In Serie A, over the last five years, many of the major teams have been sold to new owners. This has been the catalyst for the revival of Serie A into a destination top players want to be a part of again. Ronaldo's move to Italy confirms that Serie A is back and will surely prompt the transfers of other star players and coaches.

As you can probably tell, money plays a big role in nearly all aspects of soccer. For Juventus, an investment in Ronaldo for over two hundred million dollars seems like a lot for a player who is already thirty-three years old. Although, when you factor in Ronaldo's massive media presence, jersey sales and sponsorships, the investment will be entirely worth it. The earliest indication of this was the Juventus share prices skyrocketing following the imminent transfer.

All in all, the most positive effect of Ronaldo's transfer is a newfound balance of power between the major leagues in Europe. The Clasico in the coming years will no longer feature battles between Ronaldo and Messi, but there is potential for a rivalry to develop between Messi and Neymar should the latter make his way to Real Madrid. You know in the back of Ronaldo's mind he has to be thinking that success in Serie A will push him ahead of Messi in the all-time great debate. Only time will tell.

Odds on a Juventus vs. Barcelona Champions League final, anyone?

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