I’ve had this in my draft queue forever – I’m so slack. LDSM posted this months ago and I’ve been meaning to share it because it’s a great take on soccer from a player’s viewpoint. Not sure if the girls at New Generation Soccer wrote this or not (can’t find it in Google beyond a couple of MySpace pages). It’s excellent all the same:

People don’t play soccer because it’s fun… Ask any soccer player, most of them hate it, but we couldn’t imagine our life without it… It’s part of us, the Hate/Love relationship… It’s what we live for… We live for the practices, parties, cheers, long rides, tournaments, bitches, the tight ass cleats, Gatorade, & coaches you hate but appreciate… We live for the way it feels when you beat your rival by a goal in the 90th minute, & you know those 2 extra sprints you ran in practice were worth it… We live for the way we become a family with our team, we live for the countless songs we sing in our head when we run all those miles… We live for the playoffs, championships, we live for the homies we make, the practices, memories, the pain, the nice cherries we get when we make a slide tackle, it’s who we are… We’re Soccer Players!!!

Nuff said.

Update: I meant to touch on this when I first saw this. A lot of people talk about how parents force their kids into sports and there is this general assumption that all soccer parents are freaks. Well, we are – to a point. But what many people fail to understand is that these kids who play on travel teams and practice so hard are often doing it because they love to do it. Are there kids only playing to please Mom and Dad? Sure. But I think they are more the exception than the rule. What reminded me of this was a statement made by the coach of Hayden Barnes, the boy who died when a soccer goal fell onto him:

The boy’s mother told News4 that the accident was nobody’s fault and she doesn’t blame anyone.

"When you looked in his eyes, and you look at a kid’s eyes when they really love something, and they just lit up when you talked soccer, when you played soccer, anything to do with soccer," said Jim Carden, who runs the team. "He also was a good student, but that seemed to be his passion."

For many of us, that’s why we do what we do. The countless hours in the mini-van, standing in freezing rain on the sidelines, coaching teams, etc. Because for many kids soccer is more than an activity – it’s a passion.