Bare with me......
I love sports. I love to watch sports. I love to coach sports. But anyone who knows me that I love to play sports the most. I am a very competitive person, VERY competitive. but I don't mind losing, does that make sense? Here's how I see it.... It's a game, there will be a winner, there will be a loser, in the case of soccer occasionally there will be a tie. Here's the thing, just because you don't win doesn't mean you didn't play a great game. You can't, and won't, win every game you play but you should try to have fun when you are playing, THAT is what it is all about!
It is so not about the score but about how I did. I'm a team player, don't get me wrong, I know that I can't do all of it by myself and I know that I am far from the best in any of the sports I enjoy playing but I like to see self improvement. I can walk off a field having lost a soccer game but I'm already looking at the positive ways that I contributed. Maybe I did really great at looking for the passing routes that day. Or maybe it was that I had some great take aways. Maybe I didn't score but hey, I had some great shots. I also have days where it's hard to not think about the negative aspects of my play. Maybe I just got burned over and over by the same girl who was just way faster and more skilled than I am. maybe I just took a big 'ol swing at the ball and didn't even connect, repeatedly (I do that alot sometimes). maybe I didn't stay on my toes enough and got faked out one to many times. There are days that I have rough games, that is to be expected.
What I don't expect is what I encountered last night. My sis-in-laws, from here and forever more referred to as sisters 'cause that's what they are to me, Kim and Sarah asked me to come help on their "C" level soccer team. Now let me explain. Where we play there are three levels of play "A", "B", &"C". I usually play on a "B" level team. I can still play on a "C" level since I never had the opportunity to play Varsity in high school, or any level in college. A "C" team is a recreational team. For people who are interested in playing but maybe don't have the knowledge or haven't developed all the skills to prosper in a higher level of completion. It is a learning platform and should be a fun growing environment!!!!!!!!! Last night the team we played was RIDICULOUS! They were very aggressive, which is fine, completion is a good thing. They took it a too many steps too far! Now when I play on my "B" level team, there is usually a gal or two that are rather physically aggressive. I usually have fun with it, I may get a little upset, but I don't mind a little fury fueling my fire....... There were a couple factors that contributed to last night's game, we didn't have an official ref until the last 6 minutes of the game, that was biggest contributor! They kid (yes, I'm old enough to call someone a kid) who was working the desk came down to ref our game 15 minutes after the game was supposed to start. From the very start he didn't call very much as far as body checking goes and the other team instantly picked up on that and went for blood. Now my sisters's team is mostly made up of women who have never played soccer before, they have one gal who has experience and then I was there. For the most part there are mothers of children who play soccer who want to have a little fun of their own. Back to the other team. Their entire team was elbowing, hip checking, and tripping. they won the game 10-0 and NEVER let up, not once. I may have gotten a little vocal, little snippets here and there when I felt it was necessary, and I am typically not a talker, I let my actions speak. I also stopped saying "Sorry" about ten minutes in when maybe I hit someone a little hard. I may have not tried to not hit someone particularly hard, more than once. But when one of the other women grabbed my arm and tried to trip me, that was too much! I swiped her foot out from under her put her on her butt and then ended up tripping over her feet. When the whistle blew, they gave her the penalty and me the ball, Sweet Justice! I even enjoyed it, probably a little too much. Let me clarify, I can't play trying to hurt someone, but if they don't care how hard they're hitting some woman who has never played before when they're up 5-0, 6-0, 7-0, 8-0, 9-0, and 10-0, I'm NOT going to hold back. And yes, I took some satisfaction in the fact that more than a couple of their team was limping at the end of the game, but our team had a broken finger and a very visible, angry cleat mark above the knee, and none of that was on me...... Now tell me, should that really happen in a rec league? And to add even more furry to my already burning flames, after the game, FIVE of their players had the nerve to not come out and shake hands afterwards!!!!!! I have NEVER seen anything that pathetic!! If anything the women I had been playing with had the right to snub the other team, but not a single one of them did. I was so proud of them and told them so. I know that for the most part they weren't as frustrated as I was, and I have to give them credit for not lowering their standards to match the other team. They played a good clean game and enjoyed themselves, even though they lost. They went out to play soccer and have a good time with friends and they accomplished their mission! That is what it is all about.
Now for the other team, I would LOVE to take them on with my "B" team and show them what it's like when they try to mess with someone that can defend themselves. (not that you guys can't, Kim and Sarah, but the rest of your team is too sweet) I did enjoy Kim and Sarah out there taking shots and dishing them out, I was totally impressed. But Parri, Misty, Wendy, Paije, Nikki, we would have so much fun! Who knows, maybe sometime they'll bump this other team up to the "B" level so I can play some more!