Contrary to most Northern Canadians, I have never liked hockey much. (Except maybe when Wayne Gretzky was playing.) But thanks to a childhood friend, I have always enjoyed soccer. Unfortunately, when you live in a Northern town, you don't get to play soccer much. So I played a lot of basketball instead, which is just as much fun.
But now that soccer is fast becoming one of the (if not the) most popular sports among Canadian Youth, and its popularity is increasing among the parents of said youth, and I actually live in a community where there is a soccer stadium, where you can actually play soccer even in winter... I get to play real organised soccer. With actual rules and referees.
Last week, I finally got my first pair of real soccer shoes. Interior ones, with the mini rubber cleats that won't tear up the artificial turf, but keep you from sliding off to one side when you want to turn quickly. Tonight was the first chance I had to try them out, and now I wonder why I didn't get them sooner. What a difference not sliding makes!
I'm not the world's greatest soccer player. I have just about zero technique. My 8 year old manipulates the ball better than me. My almost 13 year old has me eating his dust. But having played more than one sport gives me the advantage of knowing at least some tactical moves. I know how to place myself, how to block, how to pick, how to cover for another player. I also have the advantage of being an aggressive player. So I play defense, in which lack of technique isn't as much of a drawback as when you play offense. All I need to do is get in the way of the other team when they want to score and be able to pass it up to the offense.
I keep thinking once a week is not enough sports. I used to play once or twice a day back in high school, two or three times a week at University. Maybe I'll have to find a group to play basketball with. Anyway, my husband plays volleyball twice a week now and ping pong on the weekend. So I deserve to get out at least one more time too.