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Anyone who grew up playing soccer knows that there are a plenty of struggles when it comes to playing any sport, let alone one that involves a ton of running, weird tan lines, and suicide drills. But to combat this all, it also provides a built-in family.
I will never forget my time on the soccer team, as it was a helping hand in the way that I grew up, and who I am today. It taught me to be dedicated, how to collaborate well with others, and to gain confidence. These are the top ten telltale signs that you too grew up playing soccer.
Hearing, "Get on the line," is traumatic.
Suicide sprints were no joke, and for anyone who grew up playing soccer, they are permanently imprinted in our memory as being pretty traumatic. Though this might sound a bit dramatic, there is not a drill that is close to being as tiresome as suicide sprints. And for a soccer player, completing this drill was the last thing you wanted to do after a long day at practice.
I must admit, they did work, and completing sprints is still a great training practice to do, no matter if you're a soccer player or not. When you must solely rely on your speed, agility, and gracefulness, sprinting from cone to cone was something that definitely helped my skill set. However, I definitely wasn't this thankful while doing them.
All of your strength is in your legs.
With this same concept in mind, anyone who grew up playing soccer understands the struggle of having their legs be the sole source of strength. Though as a kid, this never bothered me. But once I got into high school, it was apparent that my upper body needed some strength.
Still to this day, after years of not playing for a team, my legs are still the main source of my strength. And I can thank my childhood soccer playing for that one. Trust me, you'd be surprised by how powerful a soccer player's legs can be, especially our calves and quads. And if I do say so myself, it definitely helps in the rear end area as well.
You've considered just running home during campus run warmups.
To begin each practice, my high school soccer team would do two laps around our campus. As a terribly exhausting way to not only start a two-hour practice, but end a seven-hour day of school, campus runs might have actually been worse than suicide sprints. I can't tell you how many times I came around the corner of the building, and wanted to just run straight across the street, all the way home. Would they really notice?
Even if that meant I had to run the whole way home, I would rather do that than have to do another lap around our campus and then a complete practice. Some days, there is zero runner's high and your bed is the most needed place to be.
Shin guard tans never go away.
Anyone who grew up playing soccer knows the struggle of having an insanely tan lower thigh and knee, smooshed between an overpoweringly pale upper thigh and shin. It's really a great look.
Shin guards not only provide the inconvenience of that terrible moment when you realize you put your sock and cleat on, just to realize you forgot the most important part of your uniform. They also give you a beautiful tan line. Playing soccer all the way up to beach season is the perfect time to show off those pasty pale shins, because that's what high school guys look for in a girl.
Plus, who remembers shin guard sweat? Definitely one of the weirdest sensations I've felt in my life; shinguards are the source of many discomforts.
During off season, you realized how much soccer kept you in shape.
Though everyone complains about having practice each day, it sure does keep a girl in shape. And I always found this out the hard way during each offseason. Even if it just means I had to work much harder to get my mile time down during hell week and preseason, it is very obvious how much more in shape I was during soccer season, rather than not.
And now that I don't play at all, I don't even want to talk about it. However, growing up playing a sport really is a great way to improve your health, and it doesn't even feel like you're working out. That's what's so great about finding a sport that you love.
You would always look forward to pasta nights.
Throughout the season, our team would always get together before a big game and have a pasta night or pasta party. This was meant to fill our bodies up with lots of carbs for energy. If you grew up playing soccer, you know how much fun these nights were, as they were the source of bonding among the team, outside of the field.
Plus it was always nice to see the parents of the teammates work together to host each of the parties, and open their home to the entire team. It was also a great way to get motivated for our upcoming game and have a moment outside of practice to talk strategy.
You've had a soccer ball imprint on your body at one point.
This is definitely a small detail, but one that comes to mind when thinking back on my youth as a soccer player. Whether it be because of a hard block, or simply stepping in front of a player who is only a few feet away, we've all been there.
It's a hilariously painful moment, but one that is forever imprinted in my memory. Finding a soccer ball imprint on your body, mostly legs, after practice or a game was always somewhat prideful, in a very weird way.
"Sorry I can't, I have practice."
Much like any activity in high school, anyone who grew up playing soccer remembers the constant struggle of not being able to do anything after school. You were always missing out on your classmates' activities that had no other responsibilities. But in the long run, being on the soccer team was much more worth while than going to the park or just watching TV at Amanda's.
Plus, it was better than having a late rehearsal for the musical after dinner. You could always get soccer practice out of the way right after school. Just finding the time to cram in homework was the main struggle.
Pregame songs in the bus were a must.
This is another really fond memory I have of all my youth soccer games. As a pregame playlist ritual, playing our favorite pump up songs was a must on our way to each game. And if it was a home game, we would simply play the games while we warmed up.
This included tying pre-wrap tape in our hair to keep the flyaways managed, stretching each other's legs out, and some occasional dancing. Our go-to song was always "Black and Yellow" by Wiz Khalifa.
There was always that one opponent that pushed your buttons.
Every season, there was at least one girl on the opposite team that just knew how to push my buttons. As a forward, it was very common for girls to get a bit pushy; for the majority of the time, I never let it get to me.
In fact, I was that way sometimes, too. But for some reason, there was always that one opponent that knew how to get into my head. Thankfully, throughout my youth career in soccer, I never received a penalty card.
But there were definitely moments where I thought of simply tripping the girl who kept ramming herself into me. Just me? If you grew up playing soccer, I'm sure you've had at least one of those moments in such a physical game such as soccer.