On rare occasions I shoot a picture, that creates a sense of nostalgia, that stirs up a memory from the deep recesses of my aging mind. And even though this was not the shot I was going to post today, the feelings that this picture recreates are so strong that I can’t help but to immortalize it on this blog.
I was a very avid soccer player. I played for well over 20 years, from rec, to club, to adult, to even semi-pro, and then settled into coaching. I have coached at many levels and even ran our local youth league for a number of years. But my fondest memories of playing come from the youth leagues. And it wasn’t even the playing, it was the camaraderie. It was the friendships and the team building experience. It was because of the friends that I made that I continued playing. If it weren’t for their support, their encouragement, their ability to make it fun, I would have quit after my second year. I wasn’t playing for the coaches, my parents, or myself, I was playing for them. This was something I really noticed when I coached the High School girls team. While they were fiery and competitive, after the match all they wanted to do was laugh and have a good time. For them the game was just the game and only lasted those 120 minutes, but the team would last a lifetime. It was a great reminder, and a lesson that I had forgotten for a number of years. And every now and then, as I watch my own kids progress through the sports arena, I see something that triggers that memory, that reminder, of what “the game” is all about. May 18, 2012