In some areas of this earth, football (or futbol or soccer) is not just a way of life; it is life. The difference between winning or losing can make or break your week, or possibly month.
Some view football as boring or slow, but those are the same ones who probably raised on basketball and american football; they want intense, quick action that satisfies you almost every minute. They don't want to wait until the 70th minute for their team to score or even the 90th minute to know if they won. But for those who are infatuated with football, and even those who aren't, there are some great life lessons to be learned from this enjoyable sport.
Let us begin.
Patience is a virtue. How many times have you heard this? People always telling you to be patient and that good things come to those who wait? As a football fan, you know all about waiting, whether it be the ninth or 90th minute in which your team scores. And usually, it was worth waiting for. How beautiful was that running header or volley that scored the winning goal? So even though you over stress and tense up while waiting for the goals (if they ever come), you soon see if was worth it...well most of the time.
Another part of patience is learning to hold off doing something during the games. How many times have you had to use the bathroom, only to convince yourself that you can hold it? You know that, with your luck, the second you leave the view of the television, is the second your team scores, and replays just aren't the same thing. Or maybe there's something you really need to do, like your Mom bugging you once again your room is quite dirty, but football fans learn to make mental notes for later. So after the game, you will clean that room, check on your burnt dinner, or maybe even finally let the dog out.
There's no 'I' in team. There are few sports that require a real team effort: american football is one; you can't have the quarterback hike the ball to himself, then throw the ball only to run to catch it. Would make for an interesting game though huh?
Anyway, in football the field is so large and there are always multiple defenders, that no matter how great the world thinks you are, you simply cannot do it alone. No matter how much of a superstar you think you are, you will always need someone else to pass that ball back to you so you can score and claim glory, and then have the crowd chant your name.
Close doesn't cut it. Close is nice, but not good enough on the pitch. Close can mean the difference between scoring the wining goal or missing by two inches in a defeat. You learn to prefect your craft and become an expert, not just an average joe. Yes an average joe can play football, but it's the craftsmen who score the goals.
Finish what you started. Remember Mom always nagging you about finishing something you started, from sports to eating dinner? The same rule of thumb applies here too; that one touch pass, break away from the defender was pretty, but that whole completely missing the goal, launching it into the stands pretty much ruined the moment. You started off beautifully; finish it that way.
Balance is key. Theoretically speaking, anyone can dribble a basketball or throw a pass, but not everyone can dribble a football...while running at full speed evading defenders at the same time. Dribbling helps athletes keep balance, whether they're standing still or at a full sprint. This greatly helps evade laughter from the crowd when you trip over the ball while wide open all by yourself.
Tie and still win. It is possible to tie a game, and still come out a winner. Weird to think that though; ties in a fan's mind is neither a win nor a loss. But alas, in this sport, if you only needed a single point to continue on, then I guess a tie is just as good as a win, but probably never better. But after playing 90 minutes, a tie starts to look pretty good to you; it's better than losing right?
Bigger is better. For my last lesson learned, bigger is not always better. It seems to hold an advantage in most sports, but in football speed kills. If you're speedy, crafty, tricky (or all of the above!) then height takes a backseat. Imagine this: would you rather be six feet and slow or five nothing but quick? Bet the defender wished you were the former as you blew by him. Don't get me wrong; height is nice but here it doesn't guarantee anything.
Class is now over, lessons were handed out just for fun. This is what I learned from the beautiful game; it is nowhere near what others may have experienced, and views will differ.
So for homework, what's the lessons you learned from the game?
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