It’s been interesting seeing the culture shock in some of our area high school soccer programs as more players with travel/club experience arrive and join the sizable group of players who are athletic, but did not play travel soccer growing up. I’m proud that many of my older travel team players have a ‘warrior’ mindset. Soccer is an intense, physical, but beautiful sport – which is why many of them love to play. Yet many who are used to only Rec and School soccer don’t see it that way. So when I heard about an exchange between one of my players and a school teammate of hers, it made me smile.
At a recent match, the ground was very wet/muddy and my player had gotten fouled a few times, and going in hard – hit the ground. So she was VERY muddy. On the way out she had this exchange with a teammate (it’s paraphrased but you get the idea):
Teammate: “I had fun, but didn’t like being knocked down in the mud”
My Player: “but you like to play soccer…”
Teammate: “yeah, I like to play soccer”
My Player: “well, that’s soccer and it happens”
Teammate: “well, I like to kick the ball and run, but not get muddy or get pushed.”
My Player: “ummm… then you don’t really like soccer”