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Monthly Archives: May 2012

today’s game had the flavour of my worst nightmare and best dream.

first half was a nightmare. i started warm ups with the assistant coach and everything was going well. then the head coach was being an arse (typical male, who will not listen to anyone even though he has minimal soccer knowledge!) and that completely killed my mood, which affected my moral and that translated directly onto the pitch. during the game i was contemplating quitting this team, and i was restraining myself from walking off the pitch. the assistant coach, who ironically has coached before, and is more sensitive to female players, noted a sense of change. he understood the root of the problem. he knew the head coach had to tone it down.

we are a womens team who is competitive but also learning and wanting to have fun. unfortunately, the head coach is regarding this as a military school, barking orders and demanding they be adhered to. and i hate to say this, but i guess if you are a young male, and put in charge of a team of women, your ego would naturally rise. like the saying goes, if you really want to know a man’s character, give him power. this head coach flops miserably. and what is more despairing is that i am in his team. he demands my respect. but he has none. because respect is earned from me, not roughly taken by. he needs to understand that women are more sensitive than men, and that not all women take kindly to harsh words. we tend to take things a bit more personally. the other hot-headed personality on the team is our secondary keeper. that makes two goalkeepers. i fear something more serious is going to happen if this pig-headed coach does not change.

anyway, after the first half, i was benched. i think the head coach did not want to field me, because he was being spiteful. *rolls eyes* fortunately, the assistant coach knew i was one of the senior players and insisted i be put back on the pitch. i was field as striker. before i stepped onto the pitch, the head coach looked me in the eye and told me to prove it to him. well i did. actually i have been wanting to do so for a long time. no one seemed to understand the role of a striker or at least the positioning. and this is ironic, coming from me, since i was the world’s worst striker two years ago, and i thought i was suited to being on the back line. but it seems that my stint as keeper as opened my eyes, and finally grasped hold of the game’s strategy.

anyway, point in short, i had a fantastic game. some of my mildfielders actually commented that they would like me up front instead because i was giving them options. one of my midfielders even marveled that i was quite ‘speedy’ as i was always off to the ball. enough self-bragging but it felt good. especially when the coach blames the keeper for any goals scored. pathetic. it is hard enough to find a keeper, let alone a female one. we should be more appreciative and encouraging rather than abusive. no wonder it is such an unpopular role!

anyway a part of me is glad that i have established the club and be on the committee. i am learning so much. and it really is a lot of people management. dealing with different personalities, resolving friction, reconciling differences. i have an inkling that these skills are going to come in very handily in my future ventures.

somehow along the way, i have started thinking the worst of people. i think it was to cushion me from the disappointment when it hits. but this negativity is starting to eat at me. and now not only am i thinking the worst of people (or rather, specific personalities) when they behave stupidly, i am extrapolating and speculating on their future behaviour. which is pretty dumb, given it may not even happen that way, but worse the emotional negativity lingers on and intensifies.

as usual, it is around my soccer team. i have never thought i have a problem with authority until now… i realized i don’t want to listen to the coaches. i don’t trust them – and that’s the whole issue. i can’t seem to respect anyone who don’t behave logically or reasonably. yet others seem to not have a problem with it. why? is it because i’m a non-conformer, and i am not a dumb sheep like everyone else? but to say so would mean that the rest of my team are sheep? how can that be?? otherwise no one seems to be taking soccer as seriously as i am. and i suspect this is one of the myriad of issues i am struggling with. i am treating soccer as seriously as i am regarding my work.

i am excited about tomorrow yet i am already crestfallen. i am the goalkeeper of my team, but after incessant nagging, the coaches finally relented and allow a secondary keeper. there were conditions…from me. each keeper will play half the match as keeper and the other half on the pitch. i am excited about going on the pitch. but the sad part is, i will not be surprised if i am benched and not allowed to run on the pitch. and it ain’t because my skills are terrible (most of the team is made up of beginners so there is not such thing as crap players), but sometimes i feel the coaches don’t let me play on the field lest i prove to them that i am of greater benefit running on the pitch than at the back of the line. they are afraid of losing their keeper. and this is the problem. i really like being goalkeeper. but i also like running on the pitch. apparently these two criteria make it very difficult to comprehend.

anyway the point is, i need to stop this. this constant to-and-fro in my head. it is driving me mad and it is making me incredibly unhappy. bottom line is i need to suck it up and do what the coaches say. i know, we can easily move on to another club if this one sucks big time right? unfortunately i set up this club with a group of friends and this is one of the things that i have witnessed in other clubs and did not want in my club. so i can’t just up and go. i have to patiently work this through. argh. i really marvel and appreciate those clubs who have a rotational policy in place for their development teams (i totally get it if there ain’t any rotation policy for the competitive teams who aim to move up their divisions), after all the only way to develop a player is to get them playing on the field and not benched. but coaches seem to lose sight of our initial goals and just want to win. men, especially, it seems, are massive culprits.

i need to think the best of people. it is kinder to them and to myself. i may be disappointed, but if the course of action is unalterable, then i am going to be disappointed either way, so i might as well be happy right?

except…except i hate being a doormat and being led by someone who i don’t think is more competent than me.

this is getting nowhere.

tomorrow just come already. i need closure.

this is sad.

Yuppie, please get a grip. Just enjoy the game. Wtf.

Since my Guatemala trip, i had only take one Spanish lesson. One. So much for my grandiose plans of taking the DELE (Spanish exams) at the end of this year. And oh, 4 years in the pipelines. Hah. So i was all about giving up on learning any languages since my sports and work are taking so much of my time. Till i met this Spanish-speaking patient…

Well, ok, maybe not Spanish. Italian. Unfortunately, since she speaks zilch English, and everyone on our wards speaks zip Italian, i hazarded some Spanish (albeit extremely simplified, bordering almost on primitive?) which achieved us some minimal understanding between the patient and us treating doctors, and a really really impressed Registrar of mine.

And as i spoke to the patient, i found myself easily transiting into the Spanish language, almost as if i was back in Guatemala, when i was helping out in a small clinic. And Jesus, i miss Antigua so much. I could almost smell the Guatemalan air (not very different really *rolls eyes*), hear the cars and the quiet chatter of the native tongue, and definitely, most definitely, picture the quaint cobblestone streets and the majestic Agua Volcano in the background. Beautiful.

Anyway, i digress.

So that spurred me on, and i made contact with the Spanish school i was with in Guatemala as i know they provide online Skype lessons to students. And i really needed the conversation practice.

So that’s why i’m up at this unearthly hour, 4.45am to be precise, ready to start my Spanish lesson before i head off to work. Except…the lesson never occurred. It was only after 20 minutes of fruitless waiting [actually not very fruitless, since i managed to pay my bills, buy a dog basket, and bought trial online Japanese lessons (if i’m restarting my Spanish lessons, why not go on a roll and continue my Japanese ones too, especially since i have not touched any Japanese work in almost A YEAR)], and after frantically scrolling through my emails with the school did i realized why.

I hate you timezones.

So when i said i wanted a Tuesday lesson, i meant Tuesday Workland time. Except you guessed it, it is not Tuesday Guatemalan time.

[Sidetrack: Jeez, i just got a missed Skype call from one of the maestros?? Now i’m totally confused and perplexed. I have double checked, triple checked, definitely only Monday in Guatemala. Quite possibly a coincidental error…]

Anyway back to sleep. Keeping my fingers crossed tomorrow i don’t have to wake at 4.45am for nothing again.