4 Beautiful Reasons Why I Love Soccer

4 Beautiful Reasons Why I Love Soccer

It promotes peace, love, and understanding.
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For the purposes of this article, I would have to respect my readers in the USA and call football soccer. True fans of the sport call it football and not soccer, but I would call it soccer to respect my readers.

I grew up in the southwestern part of Nigeria in a family involved greatly in soccer. Growing up in a home full of watching, playing, and arguing about soccer, I have grown to love the game. I watch mostly European soccer and I support an English club called Arsenal. Throughout the years, soccer has become a great part of my life and made me fall in love with the sport. There are a lot of reasons I have grown to love soccer. Soccer to me is the only sport I know that can speak to everyone in the world; that is why it is called a "global sport" and it speaks one language called football.

1. It is quite simple

Soccer is a very easy sport to learn and play. Looking from the outside, it might seem really hard and confusing, but when you start learning, it is not that hard. Soccer involves a ball and a human. There are other rules and complex technicalities involved, but, with time, you would be able to understand them

2. Soccer video games

I love soccer to the extent I go out of my way to buy the video games for the sport. There is a popular soccer video game called FIFA. I have been playing FIFA since 2005. It is really fun, exciting, and competitive. I love playing FIFA and it has cured me of many things, funny enough. For example, there was a time I was really sick and I played FIFA with my friend on his PlayStation 4 for hours, and at the end I felt a lot better. I used FIFA to relieve stress because it helps me relax.

3. It is very educating

I have learned so much from soccer throughout the years. The things I have learn through soccer, I don’t think I would have learned them anywhere else. For example, through soccer, I know almost all the countries and cities in them. I know places like Zurich, Leicester, Liverpool, Munich, and Shrewsbury. I know these places because when you watch soccer, especially European soccer, you get to listen to a lot of analytical thought on teams that come from these places. Also, through soccer, I was able to score higher on my SAT. Listening to experienced commentators during the soccer matches also helped improve my vocabulary, and during my SAT, a question appeared about a word I heard a commentator use in a match the week before.

4. It is fun and brings people together

There are many instances where soccer was used for peace. In my country, Nigeria, soccer is a very popular sport and it is played and watched everywhere. For example, a civil war broke out in Nigeria from 1967 to 1970. In 1967, Pele traveled to Lagos, Nigeria, to play an exhibition match. In order to allow both sides of the conflict to see the greatest-ever play the game, a 48-hour ceasefire was called and honored. It was incredible seeing that millions of lives were lost in this war, and because of soccer the war had a ceasefire. Another example of this is a personal one. My brother and I never used to get along, and during those times, the only thing that kept us together was either playing soccer or watching soccer, and it was through this sport we finally became close. Another example is seen at Lee University. Every Friday my friends and I play soccer at the Rec Center at 7:30 p.m., and through this I have been able to meet more people from all over the world.

To me, soccer is more than just a sport; it is life. It promotes peace, love, and understanding. I am Chike Okwudiafor, and I love, eat, sleep, drink, and dream soccer.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Dear Oklahoma, Please Take Care Of Jalen Hurts

He's one of the good ones, we promise.

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Dear Oklahoma fans, coaches, and players, please take care of Jalen Hurts.

When Hurts graduated in December of 2018, everyone in the Alabama fanbase knew that a transfer was coming soon. After showing his distinct character and loyalty to the Alabama Crimson Tide by choosing to play the 2018 season, even though he would be second in line to Tua Tagavailoa, Hurts deserves this chance to make the best decision for himself. The selection process regarding where Hurts would end up this upcoming season was kept relatively private, which of course open the doors to countless predictions from fans and analysts.

However, I can confidently say that I was not the only one shocked at his choice, but I whole-heartedly support it.

Home to two Heisman-winning quarterbacks, Oklahoma is a more than a smart choice on Hurts' behalf. Within that program, he will be given ample opportunity to improve his craft in order to put himself in the best position for a successful career post-college. The Sooners obviously have an incredible program that leads players down the best paths to be as successful as possible, and that is all Alabama fans want for our beloved quarterback.

With all this being said, I, as an Alabama fan, just ask the Oklahoma Sooners to take care of Jalen and realize how special of a player he is.

With Hurts at quarterback, you will never have to question his effort or loyalty to his teammates. He will always carry himself with grace, no matter the situation. If you give him an opportunity to succeed, he will put forth all of his effort in order to take advantage of it.

Jalen Hurts is one of the most special players, and young men, to ever wear an Alabama Crimson Tide uniform. All that we ask is that you support him as we have these past three years.

Roll Tide.

Sincerely,

Every Alabama Fan

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