Happy Friday! Yesterday the World Cup Brazil kicked off what will be a month of international soccer (football) matches. I was able get in front of a television for the game at a local local pub, which similar to American Football, is the best way to watch the game. I sat next to the someone who was not a fan of soccer in anyway, a person that grew up playing and watching the big 3 American sports. I understand his lack of interest, as I watch very little MLS or international soccer but spend a great deal of time watching and coaching youth travel soccer. However there is great appreciation for the athletes that play the professional game.
I commented during the game that it is very hard to truly understand how good these players are, playing against the best soccer athletes in the world. For those that watch American football on TV, and then get the opportunity to be on a field during the game and stand next to football players, you immediately get a new perspective as your jaw hangs open at the size, strength and speed of the players. The same is true for soccer players. These players are not only incredibly fast with great endurance, they are big, strong and can do things with a soccer ball that would make you think you were seeing some elaborate illusion.
The great thing about watching, playing and coaching soccer that all soccer enthusiasts preach is that it is a players’ game. Many parents of small soccer players don’t quite understand that unlike other sports, coaches don’t send plays in or draw up game plays and then ask players to go execute. The players make it up as they go, using their talents and creativity to make split second decisions. That involves a lot of risks but helps make the game interesting.
One of the great things about soccer is anything can happen during a match. With final scores often decided by 1 goal, anyone one play can change the outcome. The first World Cup game saw Brazil score an own goal as the first goal of the tournament. It did not make the difference in the final outcome, but easily could have. How many sports can you easily score on yourself? Life lesson to be learned…take a shot!! You may not score everyone, but good things usually happen when you take that shot or put the ball in play.
So go out to the pub, grab a pint and catch a few games!