Today I joined another soccer club,
For preseason training.
I very nearly turned tail and left.

I sat in my car watching the team train.
Feeling like a pedophile.
Wondering why I keep doing this to myself.
Asking myself why am I constantly hanging myself out on the line.
Why can’t I just be content?

I watched the team train.
All the players were really young.
Early twenties, maybe not even.
20 more like.
I’m 26 turning 27 soon.
I feel like a dinosaur.

I saw them work through their drills.
And I thought what the hell,
Before anyone sees me,
I’m going to turn around and drive back home,
And wait for the team with older women to start their preseason.

But I like the coaches’ training.
I like the drills.
I like the fact that they started preseason so early,
That they understood some players needed that extra bit
To get a fighting chance.
It also tells me about the attitude of the club,
That they ain’t gonna be worried about their players burning out and not showing up.
It speaks of discipline and commitment.

And I like their approach.
This was an established club from juniors to seniors.
This will be the first year they start a women’s and girls team.
I like that they have established juniors team.
It means they have the policies and experience in place to manage players of all abilities,
And the communication skills to deal with all the parents.

And I feel less intimidated that they don’t have established seniors teams
Otherwise I will feel pressured to perform
Instead of focusing on developing my skills first.
I will be on the pioneering team.
I have been there and done that.
Can I know do it again
This time with a club who seems to have got it right after twenty years?

Am I too optimistic?


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