I never thought I would manage a team, let alone a soccer team. Soccer never was on my heart until seven years ago, where I helped organize a team for intramurals. Sometimes, it seems like an obsession. That I have some personal motive that results in me choosing to be with the team rather than serving in ministry, hanging out with people, or something of the sort.
In running this teams, I’ve managed to experience a number of injuries. The worse of them were ones to my head. Three minor concussions and numerous hits to the head. A chronic injury to my dominant foot and my hamstring. Yet, I’ve been driven to keep continuing to play, manage and lead a team. Even at the risk of my own health, I’ve still been driven to continue doing this. But why?
Every so often, I think “Why am I doing this in the first place? What’s the point?” I could be risking further injuries. I know that any one severe hit could change me forever. I could be doing something completely different. Having to deal with the complications of managing a squad can be difficult too. Ensuring enough playing time goes around, finding a chemistry among 16 different players, and creating an strategy and tactic that fits everyone’s style of play. It seems like this overwhelming burden, doesn’t it?
Then I’ve looked back on the number of people that have come and gone on this team in the past three years. I’ve looked at all the relationships that have formed over these past years. I’ve seen people who never knew each other become best friends. I’ve seen photos of teammates going on hiking trips and out to the beach. I’ve seen strangers before joining this team to becoming bridesmaids for the bride-to-be at their weddings.
The team does have a focus on winning, teamwork, and playing a beautiful game. Every single person that’s been on this team have had that same desire and goal (minus a specific crazy Eastern European keeper). However, the team was more than just that. It’s been about creating those relationships. I’ve seen a lot of them blossom through this team. And while a lot of them might not be on the team now, I know that those bonds are still there. It’s been a joy to see all of the friendships created these past few years. That’s been what I’ve hoped and loved to see as I managed and lead these players that have come and go.
So in the end, it’s worth it. To me, anyway. Sometimes, that struggle is there. Things might not be going so well, but to create that opportunity and place for those relationships to be created and built outweighs the losses or sacrifices made in its place.
It’s not the score lines that are remembered, but rather the memories and friendships that were created.