Friday, I played in my second soccer game for my A-league team. We played against one of the top 5 teams in the league (I think they came in 3rd last year). For starters I hate when our team captain starts his weekly email chain off by saying this week we are playing a tough opponent, they are the X-best team in our league. To me I feel as if he is saying that this team in so much better than we are so we need to step our game up this week. FACT: Every team in this league so much better than us that we need to step our game up each and every week. So it's kinda redundant in my mind, but that's another story.
So this week I was once again reminded why I love soccer so much. I didn't play as well this week as I did last week. I'm not sure if it was because my ankle hurt, or the brace I bought was too bulky, the fact I kinda didn't want to play( didn't want to mess up the fresh do), or the fact that I was a little tired. Friday just wasn't my day.
To be perfectly honest it wasn't any of these things. I was simply in awe. The team we play had such beautiful footwork at times I found myself watching the game as a spectator rather than as a player. It was something I would think a rookie would experience, in his first practice or game on the big stage. Lining up opposite his idol, not to observe but to compete against. Or on the first day of your new job you find yourself in a meeting with someone you've read about and aspired to be like. I found myself enjoying the "Beautiful Game." If I was more focused I could have done much better. It wasn't like I was some little kid stuck in the outfield of a little league game. More like I would take my eye off the my assignment when the ball was on the opposite side of the field, or taking extra time off the field just to watch, observe, and learn.
Watching the other team play showed me I have a long way to go. I honestly believe soccer is like a dance, with good footwork necessary like no other sport. Football players have good footwork but not like soccer players. The things good players can do amaze me. ( Youtube videos of Christiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho, etc if you want to see for yourself )One day with lots of practice and playing I will get there. Right now I'm still learning how to take the ball and move in directions other than straight forward. I'm also making progress with my passes, no longer holding the ball in one spot. I'm taking time to identify targets ahead of time. One of these days I will be pretty good myself, with some fancy footwork to show off. Sadly right now, I'm just a player/observer...