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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20 Signs You Were A High School Cheerleader

You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."
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Cheerleading is something you'll never forget. It takes hard work, dedication, and comes with its ups and downs. Here are some statements that every cheerleader, past and present, know to be true.

1. You always had bobby pins with you.

2. Fear shot through you if you couldn't find your spankees right away and thought you left them at home.

3. You accumulated about 90 new pairs of tennis shoes...

4. ...and about 90 new bows, bags, socks, and warm ups.

5. When you hear certain songs from old cheer dance mixes it either ruins your day or brings back happy memories.

6. And chances are, you still remember every move to those dances.

7. Sometimes you catch yourself standing with your hands on your hips.

8. You know the phrase, "One more time, ladies" all too well.

9. The hospitality rooms were always one of the biggest perks of going to tournaments (at least for me).

10. You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."

SEE ALSO: How The Term 'Cheerlebrity' Destroyed Our Sport

11. If you left the gym at half-time to go get something, you better be back by the time the boys run back out.

12. You knew how awkward it could be on the bus rides home after the boys lost.

13. But you also knew how fun it could be if they won.

14. Figuring out line-up was extremely important – especially if one of your members was gone.

15. New uniforms were so exciting; minus the fact that they cost a fortune.

16. You know there was nothing worse than when you called out an offense cheer but halfway through, you had to switch to the defense version because someone turned over the ball.

17. You still know the school fight song by heart and every move that goes with it.

SEE ALSO: Signs You Suffer From Post-Cheerleading Depression

18. UCA Cheer Camp cheers and chants still haunt you to this day.

19. You know the difference between a clasp and a clap. Yes, they're different.

20. There's always a part of you that will miss cheering and it will always have a place in your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Doug Pool / Facebook

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Miss America 2019: Crowns And Controversy

This year's Miss America pageant was shrouded in a scandal between Miss America 2018, Cara Mund, and the organization's leader, Gretchen Carlson. The pageant saw some interesting, and sometimes, odd moments.

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Miss New York, Nia Franklin, was crowned Miss American on Sunday. All eyes were on the 2019 Miss America "competition," amid the chaos that started back in December, when top executives from the board resigned, due to emails about contestants, sent between them. Gretchen Carlson, the former Miss America, and more recently Fox News anchor, took over the chair position earlier this year. After announcing that the pageant would be revamped into "Miss America 2.0," former Miss Americas and state directors started calling for Carlson to resign.

The new Miss America included the throwing away of the swimsuit portion, and instead of calling the event a pageant, it was rebranded into a competition. One of the Miss Americas to call out Carlson and her staff, was Miss America 2017, Cara Mund. Mund wrote a letter last month claiming that Carlson tried to silence her. She also went on to say that she was unhappy with her year as Miss America, and believed that the organization needed a leadership change.

On Sunday, 4.3 million people tuned in to watch the pageant, which is down 19% from the previous year.

Miss America Chairman Gretchen Carlsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqXLk3n_gNc

The pageant started as usual, with each state candidate introducing their state with a witty fact. Miss Michigan turned some heads when she injected her introduction with a call for action in Flint. She said, "From the state with 84% of the United States' fresh water but none for its residents to drink, I am Miss Michigan, Emily Sioma." The pageant saw some weird moments, including Cara Mund's final walk as Miss America. With a smile from ear to ear, she said "Miss America gave me the platform," she went on to say "And I am just getting started." This final walk seemed a little awkward after Mund wrote her letter calling out the pageant leaders for trying to silence and marginalize her. Seeing her walk across the stage looking happy as ever, did not seem as genuine especially after all of those allegations. Mund plans to attend law school and eventually become the first female governor of North Dakota. This perfectly aligns with the "Miss America 2.0" message that the show was pushing all night. The event kicked off with groups of contestants saying phrases that emphasized empowerment.

Miss Michigan Emily Siomahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqH3hT-COGY

The new Miss America, Nia Franklin, believes that the changes made to Miss America are positive and should be embraced. When asked a question about the absence of the swimsuit portion of the competition, she said she was glad that she didn't have to wear a swimsuit in order to win, going further to say women are "more than just that." Franklin is the winner of not only Miss America, but she also receives a $50,000 scholarship. Hopefully, this year will be smoother for the new Miss America, and for the organization overall, but in the meantime, we'll just have to wait and see.

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