I played on the boys' soccer team in high school. I'm not saying that because I was really good. It was really because I had a small high school and there wasn't a girls' team. Most of the boys were okay with me, but some of them (and the coach) would have preferred if I wasn't there. Again, I'm not sure if it's because I was no good, or because I was a girl. All I know is that I enjoyed the sport and I had fun playing.
I had a secret weapon when I played. Because of my gender and size, it was not uncommon for players on the other team to be a little wary around me. No one wanted to run over the girl, after all! I used this to my advantage and ran right up in their faces. Sometimes that meant I could steal the ball. Sometimes that meant I got knocked down. Either way was fine with me because I was playing my hardest and doing what I could to help my team.
I remember one play in particular. I was playing left fullback. There was a rather tall (might I say gangly) striker from the other team coming down the field. He was doing his fancy footwork and deciding which way to make his move and then he started heading my way. I decided to engage and ran towards him. He didn't back off. In fact he slammed right into me and knocked me down. As he did so, he spared me a glance. And then he stopped.
"Rabia!?!?" he yelled, in shock. "Is that you? Oh my gosh I'm so sorry!! Are you okay?" And then he reached down to help me up. I wasn't hurt at all, save for having the wind knocked out of me. All I could do when I stood up was laugh. He was a friend from youth group. Had I been anyone else, he probably would have just kept going. That's how soccer works. People get knocked around. But since he recognized me, he felt bad and he stopped. It was a rather humorous play, and one I remember vividly to this day.
These days, the only team I play with is a team of five year olds. I'm coaching Benjamin's team this year, and letting Ken coach Henry's. My little guys are just barely learning how to dribble the ball, while Henry's team is starting to really get into the game. This is the first year they have goal keepers, referees, and a bigger focus on the rules of the game. His games are getting really exciting to watch, as some players are beginning to show real talent for the game.
Henry is learning how to go after the ball and keep an eye on it all over the field. When I look out there, my soccer playing mind is quite proud. My mother's heart, though, is a little nervous. My guys have inherited their mother's small stature and it's never more obvious when he's out on the field running towards kids who are a foot taller than he is.
|Henry's first season, 2012|
#InjuriesSuck and no mom wants to see their kid get hurt. No player wants to sit out on the sidelines, nursing a painful hip, or bruised shin, either. Injury prevention is a big part of any sport and I've always done what I could to keep my kids in the proper gear for whatever they are doing.
Storelli is leading the industry in creating lightweight and extreme impact resistant protective gear for players. Wearing Storelli gear allows players to focus on the game instead of worrying about injuries that may occur.
We were fortunate enough to try out some gear they sent us. For the sake of full disclosure, it has rained pretty much every day since I accepted this campaign. Our soccer practices and games have been cancelled and I can't even take the boys out in the yard because it's so wet. We did however, go for a photo shoot in the living room.
|I told him to look mad. LOL!|
Henry tried out the BodyShield GK Sliders. These goal keeping shorts fit snugly to conform to the body and provide much needed protection for the goalie. They are padded on the hips and thighs to ensure a soft landing when diving after the ball and have a removable pocket in the front to ensure that both males and females have adequate protection where they need it most.
|Good padding, hip to knee|
I got to try out the BodyShield LegGuard 2.0. My mom made fun of me when I told her I was buying cleats and shin guards to coach five year olds, but I do need them. These kids may not go all out and play aggressively, but they also don't aim well when they kick and they frequently bunch up and mistake my ankles for the ball. This leg protection fits snugly and extends down into the shoe to provide seamless coverage for shins and ankles.
|Awesome ankle protection!|
If you play soccer, or love a soccer play, I highly suggest you check out Storelli's website for ways to keep your favorite player safe on the field. Order before October 8, 2015 and receive 20% off with the code: INJURIESSUCK20
Have you had an injury keep you on the sidelines? What's your favorite soccer story?