Relationship With Soccer JonathAn swenson

The relationship I am using for my relationship writing process is the thing that takes up most of my time, soccer. I spend at least 6-10 hours a week playing/engaging in soccer in some way, whether that be playing, coaching or watching. One of the main reasons I am choosing to write about soccer is because it is one of the things I know best and I could talk about it for hours on end with no problem. There are so many aspects about it that spark debates such as, headers causing concussions, the best developmental strategy, or who the best players are. I have my opinions about anything in soccer you can think of. Soccer has also impacted my life very heavily by teaching me life skills, keeping me active and just taking up my time. If there is one relationship that I could create a very strong project around it would be soccer as I have never ending ideas to discuss.

I listened to a podcast from ted talks about Argentinas blind soccer team. It really opened my eyes( no pun intended) to a different branch of the sport that I hold so dear to myself. The talk was given by the coach of the Argentina blind soccer team. He talked about both struggles the had with the team and successes. I had heard of blind soccer before but honestly I had never thought about it being a serious sport before. I had thought that it was just an activity that blind people are able to participate in. I really enjoyed listening and learning about how blind soccer works. It is very different than soccer but also the same. The biggest difference between blind soccer and "real soccer" besides the players being blind seems to be the fans. Soccer fans are kind of notorious to be the most crazy fans in all of sports.

But in blind soccer the fans are not allowed to cheer. Blind soccer works because the ball makes noises so the players can locate it on the field so if the fans cheer, the players can't hear the ball. The coach talked about the struggles that he faced at the beginning of his blind coaching career with the biggest being the inability to show different tactics. He had to improvise. Much like If you were to explain something to someone and they didn't understand it you would have to explain it in a new way. But for him he had to explain it in a new sense. He decided to use touch and walk each player through the different tactics by guidance of their hand on a field of cups. The team trained on a field with hardly any grass and holes in the nets of the goals.

The coach sought out to fix this problem as he filled for a spot to train in the Argentina Elite Athletes Center. At first he was denied, but after some arguing and negotiations he was able to get his team into the center. As they were walking around the center they would get looks from other athletes like "why are they here." But it was just a matter of time before they were one of the most decorated teams in Argentina winning back to back world championships.

This podcast hit hard for me because of my close relationship with soccer. Soccer runs my life and to learn about people who are considered disabled being able to enjoy the sport as much as I do is amazing. The fact that before listening to this podcast that I didn't consider it as an elite sport shocks me. I didn't know enough about how it worked and that clouded my judgement. This podcast really opened my eyes about a different form of soccer that is entirely an elite sport.

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