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The Beauty of Soccer

Soccer is more than just a sport it is a lifestyle.

My parents always told me, “no hands,” so I would run around the front yard with my hands up saying, “no hands.” That was the moment I became a soccer player. Soccer has been a part of my life for 17 years. This sport is what I know best and I surrounded my life around it and it will always be a part of my life.

I chose soccer to be a part of my life because soccer to me is a unique sport. There are no constant set plays in soccer, there are no timeouts, and it is a one point game which makes it intense for the audience. Soccer is beautiful because there is so much freedom for the athlete to use their technical and tactical skills. On the field there are so many decisions to make, whether to release the ball and be a play maker, or keep the ball and use your skills to open up more space on the field. Whoever has the ball at their feet makes the decisions of the game.

Soccer is a dynamic sport. It contains 11 positions on the field, each having their own importance. Starting with the goalkeeper, this is the only position that is allowed to touch the ball with their hands. The goalkeeper is important because the keeper has the vision of the whole entire field. They are the directors and the voice of the field. Without a keeper there would be plenty of goals scored and the game would be too easy.

In front of the goalkeeper is the defensive line, which consists of a left and right outside defender and two central defenders. Being a defender their job is to be mentally and physically smart. They have to be able to stop the opportunity of a goal happening. The defensive line is important because if the ball gets through everyone else they are the last line to prevent the ball reaching the goalkeeper. The defenders are the ones who must distribute the ball to get the play to the other side of the field.

Before the ball gets to the defense it has to get through the midfield. The midfielders are considered the brain of the game. They have the most possession of the ball in a game. Midfield consists of one left and right outside mid and three central midfielders. In the center midfield there are usually two attacking midfielders and one defensive midfielder that stays back to hold the midfield down. The attack midfielders are the play makers of the game these players have to be very technical and tactical in order to distribute the ball properly around the field. The outside midfielders are the marathon runners of the sport. Outside midfielders typically stay on the lines of the field to open up space and they distribute the ball with crosses to switch the field or to create an opportunity towards goal.

In order for the opportunities for goals to be created the team must have a forward. The forward position plays a huge role in the game of soccer because usually they are the targets on the team to get the ball to. Forwards mostly contain speed in short distance and their purpose of the game is to be able to make runs on the field to receive the ball. Forwards have the most pressure to score for the team because that is their one and only priority. Typically a forward should have the most goals scored in a season.

Soccer is more than just putting the ball in the back of the net though. It is more about what you do to get the ball in the back of the net. The dynamic thing about soccer is the tactics of the game. There are multiple formations you can play, but you have to be smart depending on the team you are going against. The two most common formations on the field are a 4-4-2; four defender, four midfielders, and two forwards, or a 4-5-1; four defenders, five midfielders, and one forward. Throughout the game the formation can change depending if you are trying to attack aggressively or maintain the game.

A lot of people believe soccer is boring because it is a low scoring game, but being a soccer player makes the game more intense. The game of soccer is about the decision making each player makes to get the ball in the back of the net. The game is exciting because it takes a lot of effort to score one goal. With football if you are down by a touchdown they can call timeouts to waste time or they can easily gain yardage in two minutes to score. In basketball it is possible to score in seconds and they are allowed to call timeouts. Soccer separates itself because one point is not simple to get under two minutes and there are no timeouts so the time is ticking as the team is trying to catch up. One goal in soccer has so much excitement behind it compared to three touchdowns in football because it’s a team buildup of getting the ball to the goal. A low scoring game makes the goals more memorable and important.

The fact the game of soccer is so dynamic and builds creativeness on the field makes it easy for me to be passionate about it. Many people have passions, but this sport has been my passion for 17 years and now I am finally ending my collegiate career. I may no longer play soccer, but my interest in soccer remains. Everyone in this world has that one interest that will always be a part of their life. This is my interest because I know the ins and outs of this sport and as I look at it in a different perspective I continue to learn and develop on the game of soccer. Soccer will forever be a part of my life.

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