By MASON McCLAY – STAFF WRITER
Soccer, the sport of the gods, has eluded my skillset for years. And in light of the praise and attention the soccer players are getting, for their incredible victories, I have decided to “kick” out of my bubble of fear of all things team-oriented and delve into my inner Soccerates.
Through trial and error and with the guidance of Centre’s own center back, Henry Lynch, I have torn through the turf and analyzed the ten best pieces of advice provided to me by representatives of the Colonels. Before reading ahead, be warned that the experiences described are in fact real, graphic, and potentially insulting. Reader’s discretion is advised.
Tip 1: “When I took my first Physics course last semester, I learned a lot about aerodynamics and hydrodynamics. The dorsal fins of sharks, for example, help streamline its movements. My fade mimics this function, and makes me a more agile player.” Jacob Trumbull ‘16
Result 1: While playing against an opponent, the streak of long red hair not only made me more hairodynamic, but also seemed to distract him enough for me to get by with ease.
Tip 2: “It’s okay to skip leg day, but if you do, double up on one-handed push-ups.” Henry Lynch ‘17
Result 2: Because of my pride in quad strength, it was actually very difficult for me to skip leg day. But I fought through my urges and opted for three-quarters of a one-handed push-up, twice the normal amount. Results were negligible.
Tip 3: “When you’re in the zone and have an extrasensory focus, allow your mind to flow with the ball, and then stare your opponent in the eye as if you’re about to kick the ball right through him.” Fabien Celestien ‘17
Result 3: This trial brought with it the focus of a hawk searching for prey and the intensity of a proton within the Large Hadron Collider. It was so intense that my ball’s trajectory went far beyond 60 meters directly into my opponent’s goal. Thanks for the advice, Fabien!
Tip 4: “Don’t watch soccer on TV. It’s not very interesting, and while the pros might seem good, they use a lot of poor techniques that’ll cause you to learn the game wrong if you watch it too intently.” Henry Lynch ‘17
Result 4: With 12 simple steps, sport-watching had become sport-dreaming, which has actually been shown to improve skills.
Tip 5: “If you’re having a bad hair day, chances are so is another teammate. Take to the field with the knowingness that you’ll be in solidarity against bad hair. Your teammate wins and loses with you, after all. Don’t feel so alone” Luke Hart ‘17
Result 5: Let’s be honest—my hair is basically flawless. Rather than subjecting myself to a “bad hair day,” I took Luke’s advice as a metaphor: your team will be there to fight with you no matter how you feel, so it’s okay to lean on them for support. This tip helped immensely in the latter half of my trials out on the field with the teammates.
Tip 6: “If you play in practice as you would in a game, you’re able to find your rhythm much more naturally and quickly.” Dylan Spencer ‘17
Result 6: As my life’s motto is, “Pursue with thy hardest, or sullenly retreat to thine abode,” I had no doubt that I had been acting on this piece of advice all along.
Tip 7: “If you lose the ball, the priority is to get it back, no exceptions. Don’t be demoralized by losing it. Go get it.” Fabien Celestien ‘17
Result 7: Adamantly adhering to this advice, I intentionally gave the ball up to test my responsive motivation. In conclusion, I went a bit too hard, tripped, and got a grass stain on my favorite shorts. Never again.
Tip 8: “If you can’t afford the salon fee for a fade, wear headbands, but only when your hair is not long enough to wear headbands.” Luke Hart ‘17
Result 8: My hair has perpetually been this awkward middle length for the past three years, so it was no problem for me to practice with the “vanity band.” However, my hair is too thick and unwieldy to be constrained by the likes of a thin piece of synthetic, so I constructed my own metalloid band that had the added benefit of blinding my opponents by reflecting sunrays into their corneas.
Tip 9: “You gotta be creative, think outside the box, and be unselfish. You gotta do your do, man.” Luke Hart ‘17
Result 9: It was set up perfectly: I had my pilot friend fly above Danville and create a smiley face from fumes on a cloudless day. At the same time, I had a friend ready to run onto the field and place a soccer ball by the goal, since I still did not know how to dribble. When all were distracted by the smiley, the new ball was placed by the goal. I still missed horribly.
Tip 10: “This is a piece of advice I’ve never given anyone, but I finally feel comfortable revealing it here. It’s all about the team bonding. When you’re together, you become one with your teammate, an extension of their existence, if you will. Eventually this bond becomes so real in a spiritual sense that when you touch your hair with you teammate’s, it fuses together to form a spiritual bridge. Then communication is instantaneous and synchronous. Never again will a game be lost when this connection is established.” Anonymous
Result 10: This was by far the most ethereal piece of advice given during a sports interview of this kind.