Now for all my American friends, I am referring to soccer! Otherwise known as football or footy in every other country apart from America, (way to be different America!)
After playing in U-15, Junior varsity as co-captains with my best friend and then Varsity in my senior year of high school alone, footy is something that I really miss in my life at college! Kids in England are raised on footy. It's like if your not in a team from the time you can walk, even if you're a girl, your not really British at all! (Ok maybe thats a little dramatic but you get the point! Us Brits love footy!) Here are ten things I miss the most about Football, and why I highly encourage you to play and get involved in football at some point in your life even if its just for fun!
1) Aggression is encouraged
Especially for someone like me who stays away from just about every confrontation possible, football taught me to get up in a girls face and tell them to back off! Not to mention tackling girls in the rain in order to get the ball of them.
2) The ball is a bomb
Being goalie for a while, my brain was trained to believe that the ball was a live bomb that needed to be caught, before it hit my homies in my net. Despite the dramatic comparison, it did make me work harder to make sure that the ball wasn't going to get away from my hands!
3) Sprinting around is fun (in a game)
Now major clarification here, sprinting around in practice = not fun! Running six laps in the Thai heat, without a water break, whilst being screamed at in the sidelines by our coach, yep NOPE. Sprinting around the field during a game, however, especially one that you have just started, gives you so much adrenaline!
4) Suicide sprints, taking a chest ball, bad header, and full on smash is just a part of every practice!
A lot of the hard work of a footy team is built in practices for hours after school every day! I am not joking, we had to practice for two hours every day of the week par one. It is not always easy to show up especially when ladies have that time of month but the biggest lessons I was taught through those practices are team work and endurance!
5) Showing off to the guys is always a bonus!
A lot of schools have girl and guy practices at either separate times or together. Despite concentrating on the game at hand, it can be rather tempting to show the guys what you got!
6) Girls and guys play a lot differently
After observing many games from both guys and girls, they are so different when they play. It is never healthy to compare honestly, there are way too many differences! For example, guys tend to spread out and pass more, where as girls can clump more and run in frenzied determined, angry patterns. Not always but hey we're competitive.
7) Footy socks, shin guards, and head bands become your best friend
Those suckers become your life necessities! If they aren't in your sports bag, good luck having an unbruised shin after practice!
8) Your team through rough and tough become family
Now don't get me wrong I still wanna kill my team after a long practice, with everyone getting incredibly frustrated at each other. Yet I also love them to pieces, and would charge into any girl or guy who tackled them on the field!
9) Scoring becomes an obsession
When the scoreboard becomes the difference between a bronze and a silver, scoring becomes your greatest desire. This can sometimes be really hard to deal with when that doesn't happen but it can also give some great determination!
10) Corner kicks should be banned forever and ever. Amen!
There are very few people who can ace those corner kicks, also getting squished into a metal goal post by a girl five times bigger than you is not my cup of tea!
Running around and pushing my body to new limits on the field is something that made me feel empowered and determined in my life. Scoring was something that wasn't why I played, but a great bonus of being on a team with others, where we all desired to score and win the game. I miss our team huddles and ridiculous rituals, the taped up everything, the sweat, tears, and water bottles. Yet it is a time in my life that will never be forgotten!