Sunday, July 16, 2006

Soccer at U-Hill Secondary

It was a good game. Felt good doing all that running, running with a purpose in mind - to get the ball and score. Though the game started out poorly for me, I finally found my rhythm, role and purpose in the game.

I didn't play in my traditional defensive position, having an abysmal start to the game. As goalie, I let in one goal, as defender, I was out-tackled 8 or 9 times within the first twenty minutes. One can imagine the amount of hesitancy I had in doing my tackles. I only managed to make one good run - when I received the ball from my fellow defender, I passed the ball back to him and moved forward, for him to pass back to me. Following that, I made a run forward, looking out for Jason's position. I passed the ball to him smoothly, and he passed back to me after I ran forward, and then I passed it to this Ghanian guy who was the other striker... only to see it not convert! Gee. I ran back, panting like mad. Following that, I switched back to be a goalie, but then even when defending the goal, my calf kept acting up. I decided to stop at around 1.5 hours in the game, to get some drink, sit down and stretch again. (Serves me right not to stretch before the game...)

Well then, after I came back from the Acadia Park Commonsblock - where I got my bottle of water - I decided to hang out in the midfield. Yet, as a midfielder, I kept running back to the defense. It felt horrible. Nobody was passing the ball to me, probably because my role wasn't very well-defined. I kept getting out-tackeld too. I made up my mind; I was going to try out striking.

And so I plopped myself in the opposing defense area, where nobody was, and waited for a chance. The chance came. I found the ball, dribbled it forward a bit, and then passed it to the right. We inched our way to the goal, and I set up quite a number of plays, mostly from the center-left of the field, but occasionally from the center-right. When a corner came, I headed the ball - but it just barely went over the bar!!! Gee whiz, if only I had angled it downwards a bit more. Haha, well, everything seems to be "just a bit more" to get it right. Unpolished skill. ;-)

Striking went well in other ways too. I was hardly stopped. Perhaps my mass makes me a target tough to stop. Hahaha... another advantage.

So I've finally found a new definition for myself in soccer - I can play as a playmaker, setting up plays for others to score. I'm probably not a good striker - strikers must score - but if I can help set up goals, that'll underscore my value to a team.

Bringing this topic broader, perhaps I'm not the one who's meant to 立下功劳, but rather I'm one who has to 提供机会. I have to create chances for others to succeed, rather that let myself succeed. That way, I'm able to be an effective team player. Hm. Quite a lot to learn from soccer.

Anyways, we lost, in part because nobody on our team could convert well. Maybe I'll try scoring next time round. But the feel of the game - absolutely terrific. Next time I play, I'm playing an attacking role.

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