Goalie

The coach has given up on the current league and has started focusing on next season. Many of the girls who are not committed have shown their disinterest and are not included in the line up for next year. Yesterday, the coach asked decided that i should be goalkeeper. I had mixed feelings about it.

I was definitely a little disappointed – i was not aiming to be running on the field, but i still could not help but feel that i am not good enough. Logically, i know he is making the correct decision. It has been difficult to find a goalkeeper; and no one on the team currently wants to or will commit to the team if they were selected to be goalkeeper. The coach knows that i will not walk out (a debatable point for other reasons, more elaboration later) if i was chosen to be goalkeeper. He also realized that i have the best balance on the team; a point that he raised with me. Apparently you need good balance to be keeper. In addition, he has given me drills to practice at home. He is either very astute in his observation or very fortunate in his decision-making. Of all people, he certainly picked the correct person who would be obedient enough to adhere to his instructions and train at home. Wtf.

The other thing i have noticed is that when it comes to physical training, i am one of the fittest. The coach has to use one of our precious two training sessions for physical fitness drills because most of my teammates are not fit enough. Speed is what’s costing us a lot of the time. Compromising on skill drills works out fine for my teammates because they have years of experience under their belts. I, on the other hand, could do with more skill training, rather than physical exercises. Clearly there is now a conflict of interest. Since i have to be trained in skills no matter what position i am in; why not then train me in the keeper’s position? That would solve two problems for the team – the urgent need for a keeper, and not having to worry about training me in skills that involve the feet since i am more agile with my hands.

Personally, i would prefer to be goalkeeper, and that’s why i initially joined this team in the first place. It is a highly sought-after skill and more marketable – that is if i ever switch teams, it will be easier because clubs are always on the look-out for goalkeepers. Plus i cannot last ninety minutes sprinting on the field. I know a lot of girls hate to be benched but i beg to differ. If i am exhausted, i rather someone take my place; and more importantly, i do not want to be over-exhausted since i am still a healthcare professional, and studying is an integral part of my life, therefore i would still like some reserve energy to do some readings after my match. The last match, i was played as striker (a position that i detest greatly of all the roles in soccer) and i was under tremendous physical and mental pressure. I crashed when i came home, and slept like a dead log for two hours. It also meant that my entire day was spent without studying, something that i would not like to emulate a second time.

I am also happier playing as goalkeeper as i am more comfortable in this position. My reflexes from martial arts will come in handy and so will my strength. However, there is a reason why our current keeper is unhappy. She is always neglected in our training. The coach always makes the mistake of sending her to train by herself, or forgetting to guide her when he is training the rest of the team. I will not tolerate such behaviour from the coach. So far, he has ensured that i am training with the rest of the team. If he starts reverting to his old practices, i will be sure to let him know my displeasure and leave him high and dry if he does not listen. Soccer is a team sport, and of all people, he should jolly well know not to neglect anyone on the team.

The last thing that really irritates me is the fact that in our remaining three games, i will not be playing as keeper. I will just be substituted in whatever position that is required, including striker. I asked why i could not be keeper and he said that there are a couple of things that i do not know when it comes to goalkeeping which he needs to teach me first. And when the other team scores, the morale of my team goes down (which happens really easily which is shocking) and the other team will score even more goals. Whilst again it makes sense, it just strikes me how insensitive he can be. I feel extremely dispensable and expendable. But he is playing his cards right, because he knows i can tolerate his stupid strategy on account of the team. I hate it when i am being used. I hope he knows that there is a time when enough is enough and a push becomes a shove. I tend to grit my teeth and look like nothing is wrong until one day, out of the blue, i explode and there is no turning back.

And so, this is what that has been bothering me, much to the disbelief of my other medical friends. There are larger things in life such as my impending internship, but i seem to worry less about that. But that’s me. I need distractions to perform better i suppose… The one good thing? Since i am going to Japan, i am going to buy goalkeeping gloves from there. The size will probably fit me better since Japanese guys are smaller; and the range would be far more exquisite than here. I will probably buy a new pair of soccer boots from The Homeland too. My boots have been holding out for six years but they are slowly showing signs of wear.

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