My Last Goal
In the last days of college I found my inner soccer talent... for 90 minutes.
Soccer is hard. This seems like a truism, but unlike throwing a spiral or shooting a three-pointer, soccer doesn’t really require any serious specialized skills. It’s not a matter of how high you can jump, but how well you can keep your balance and hit a pass while running. The nuance behind it is hidden. What appears superficially intuitive is difficult in practice.
I learned this by getting my ass kicked on the field. As a child, I never evolved past the “run as fast as you can after the ball and kick it as far towards the goal as you can” stage in my development. I played intermittently on recreational teams with names like the Barbarians, Purple Cobras and Dragons, but I never did much besides run around like a headless chicken. This strategy worked during those years. The game was dumber. Nobody understood spacing or positioning and nobody could pull the defense’s strings because those strings didn’t really exist. You just sort of run and it either works or it doesn’t.