Whoa, me and my updates. Perhaps follow-up is a better term? Anyway, it’s been a few weeks since I researched sports aggression and admitted to having occasional bursts of unfriendly rage during soccer matches (see The Rage to get looped in). In that time, my team, La Bella Squadra, had two weeks off, which seemed like ample time to recover and rejuvinate my fun-loving spirit.
First things first: I made a commitment to myself that I would not be angry on the field. Afterward, maybe. But I want cucumber status on the turf-monkey, and that was priority number one above all else. To help in this endeavor, I’ve been try to think of my position on the field as that of a defensive driver. Like, if drivers with aggression get all crazypants, the best thing I can do is not react. Same on the field.
So this past Saturday, I filled in on a co-ed team that was definitely a little more advanced than me. But I wasn’t too far behind, and despite some serious pushing and shoving on the other team’s side, I was probably the happiest I’ve been on the field in a really long time. Just tried not to suck completely, stayed out of anger-inducing plays. Also, rather than seeing the other team as faceless opponents (which I tend to find is necessary to be competitive) I practiced empathizing with them. This may not lead to me being a kick-butt player, but it did help me simply have no desire to be upset.
And Monday, La Bella Squadra was back on the field. I was again in chipper spirits. Not only did my team play well as a team (I LOVE teamwork!!) but we worked really hard at being connected with each other and giving good direction. A girl on the opposing team ran into me and in a brief struggle her glasses fell off. I instantly stopped moving, held my hands up and trapped the ball under my foot, make sure she was able to pick up her glasses. No one said anything – not the ref or anyone – and I waited until she was back in action before continuing the play.
This girl (woman I suppose, but really, anyone under 45 is a girl to me) thanked me multiple times for stopping, and I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of person wouldn’t stop for something like glasses (sheesh, glasses are expensive!). We’re playing rec soccer on a Monday night – we all need to be able to see tomorrow at work. I hope that even at the height of anyone’s rage, we can still be decent human beings. Though even if not everyone can, at least perhaps I can demonstrate treating others the way I’d want to be treated.