2001-10-24 - 11:16 a.m.
Soccer last night.
Today, pain is my friend.
Well, not so much my friend, as my companion. Like one of those people who camp out on your couch and don't leave? Except pain has decided to camp out in my thighs and lower back.
And he's eaten all my Cheetos.
I had two personal goals (things I wanted to do, not me scoring goals) going into last night's game. The first was to skin my knees up early so that I would get over the pain and not be afraid to take dives. I accomplished that one. The second was to not allow more than five goals. That one fell by the way side in the first half.
Here are some things I learned/relearned last night.
In this league, if you have a five-goal differential, the losing team can send out an extra player. Guess who had a one-person advantage all through the second half?
If this is the bush league, then we belong in the beer league. The other team was *good*. They had matching jerseys. They had two forwards who just embarassed the hell out me. It's going to be a loooooong season.
The facility we're in is great. Much nicer than the last one we played at. There are two refs, who were very on top of the game. It's a good place to play.
Either soccer is more strenuous than I remember, or I'm in worse shape than I thought. As goalie, I figured I wouldn't end up breathing too hard. Wrong. I was panting through most of the first half. I did do some running, and when I have to move, I have to move *fast*, but damn.
Sidenote: I hadn't seen TwinSis for nearly a month, and one of the first things she said to me was that I look thinner. eRoommate later confirmed that my face has thinned out a lot. Can I get a hallelujah?
There are several areas of my game that need to improve. I did too much hesitating last night. One thing I learned from my Aikido Sensei (who once played goalie in a professional indoor soccer league) is that as a goalie, you have to make decisions quickly and act on them immediately. If you're going to charge the ball, you have to do it now, and you have to do it all the way. If you're going to stay on your line, you have *stay* on your line. If you do half of one or half of the other, you're cooked. "If you're going to stand, stand. If you're going to sit, sit. Whatever you do, don't wobble."
Speaking of charging, when I do it, I need to be bigger. I had a couple of good dives or tackles last night, but I had a tendency to ball up. Their two good forwards were able to float the ball over me and into the goal. I need to spread out, and go flying at them all limbs-akimbo. I'm not cutting down the angle enough, and that's leaving too much open goal for them to shoot at.
There were *way* too many loose balls in the area. I need to up my aggresiveness a bunch. The best games I ever played as a goalie, I had the attitude that once the ball entered the area, it was *mine*. The other team may *think* it's theirs, but really, it's *mine*. I have to go take it from them. At all costs.
So I feel kinda like hell today, but it was a fun game (even though we lost) and I'm looking forward to getting my game back.
Next time, they won't know what hit 'em.