Friday, September 21, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Football Tryouts Day 2

I made it throught the second practice, but it wasn't pretty.

The Good: I passed much better, with better form and technique. I scored a goal in our four member drills. I was able to execute the "thigh-thigh-foot-header" juggle drill twice. My stamina was decent.

The Bad: Dribbling. I still don't get those turns and fakes. I read something that if you didn't develop good dribbling skills by age 17, you're out of luck.

The Ugly: The sprints. Oh, it was ugly. I was a millimeter away from just sitting down and saying "thanks, but I'm done with this National Team thing." As I fell further behind, my stomach quesy and my heart pounding, there just wasn't enough air in the atmosphere to sustain me. I imagined laying face down on the ground sucking molecules of oxygen from the grass. One or two people were walking, and that inspired me to just keep going. I ran as fast as I could, which eventually slowed to just barely a jog, but I managed to keep going. I guess 3 mile runs in the morning now need to be supplemented with some sprints.

Tonight's another session, then exhibition game on Sunday at 4PM, and cuts after the game.


bradinthesand said...


Anyone who made the team last year who tells you that they never had a moment when they seriously considered bowing out at one point or another during the five-week session is a liar.

I remember mine like it was yesterday. It was between the second and third running of the infamous Circle of Death.

I didn't know if it would ever end but I kept going because I looked around and thought "Hey, nobody else is quitting," and "Is this the defining moment you were looking for in your life?"

We ended up doing four in all, but it brought us together because we all made it together.

There was another moment when I wasn't exactly thinking about quitting, but was just generally feeling like shit.

I was lagging behind in the seemingly endless sprints around the field when young Micah Griffin shouted "Come on, Brad!"

All at once it hit me that he paused from playing soccer on the sidelines to watch us practice, saw I was sucking wind, and cheered me on.

It was cool that he was there watching us at all, and I was inspired because I didn't want this little kid to think that people on a national team were quitters.

I wanted him to see that we never give up.

That was all I needed to catch up to the group and close out the practice on a high note.

It wasn't easy. In fact, it sucked, but it's one of my proudest moments.

Moral of the story? I guess that we've all got a little extra inside. It's just a matter of discovering how to find it.

Keep it up. It's great to see you out there. And when you suit up for your first game as a national team hopeful this Sunday (doesn't that sound cool?), give it all you've got.

I'm guessing there's going to be a couple of kids there cheering you their favorite player.

Go get 'em Special K!


The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Mara, I have to play soccer for six more weeks...for the children. You understand, right?

Sorry I missed the tryout on Friday. The Hopwood cleanup at the lighthouse did a number on me. I was asleep.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

If you can excavate an eye worm, your stomach is strong enough to make it past 'the wall'.

Keep trying, David!!

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Do. Or do not. There is no try.