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An illuminating consideration
My wife, like other millions of wife's who married someone fanatic about soccer, has only one choice. To become a 'soccer wife'.
There's another category that is the same: soccer parents.
So, if you're not in one of these two categories, sorry, but you probably won't understand what I'm talking about. Soccer wives and soccer parents, basically eat bread and soccer if they want to try to have an acceptable life!
Coming to the topic of this letter, in one of our conversations about sports in general and soccer in particular she arrived to a conclusion that I haven't arrived to in 50 years of soccer addiction. In every sport, equilibrium and consequently, balance, is fundamental. There's no way to succeed if you don't have this characteristic very well developed.
It's the equivalent of being in tune in order to sing and, very often, people who are out of tune don't have good equilibrium either!
The conclusion my wife arrived at, was this. Equilibrium in every sport is basically a good job done with our legs and feet. In doing this, by keeping a lower center of gravity, we can successfully hit the ball in tennis, baseball, golf, squash or handle the ball in basketball and volleyball.
But ........................ there is a but.
The tools that we use are our hands. The other tools, our legs and feet, are concentrated in keeping us balanced and well anchored on the ground. This is true for every sport I listed. But what happens in soccer?
We handle the ball with our feet. So, the tools that we use to keep us in balance are the same tools we need to handle the ball. The job is enormously more difficult. The equilibrium and the balance that was distributed between two legs and feet, is now cut in half.
All our body and mobility is held by ONE LEG ANCHORED ON ONE FOOT ON THE GROUND. Everything becomes more precarious, because the other foot is suspended and busy in managing the ball.
This is the beauty of soccer and this is what, not only makes it a unique sport, but makes the players who are able to excel, more challenged than athletes in other sports.
Thanks, Jessica, for helping me to understand why soccer makes us special and why it's so rewarding to play it on the grass, on the sand, on the snow, on the concrete, on the asphalt or in the dirt of every remote and isolated place in the world.
It's said that Tai-Chi is 'the art of knowing which foot you're standing on'. This is also true for soccer. If you can't balance the weight of your body on one foot you'll never, ever be able to kick the ball hard and in what corner of the net you want.
This is the essence of soccer.
Posted on 07 Oct 2005 by coachgianni