Sportress of Blogitude

Soccer

This Just In: Playing Soccer Requires Physical Exertion

Now that the World Cup is behind us and Americans are once again renewing their lukewarm love affair with the sport – at least for a few months before its spell over us loses its power – a lot of people who were captivated by the demonstration of athletic prowess by the world’s best players might be developing a hankering for giving soccer the old college try and actually wandering out to a soccer field nearby and booting a ball around. But here’s a warning, fledgling soccer aficionados:

Playing soccer requires running as well as other forms of exercise. So, for those of you interested in participating in a pick-up game of soccer whose idea of extreme physical effort consists of bending over and putting on your socks every morning, the sport might not be the activity for you.

I know, I wouldn’t have believed it either if it were not for the valuable lessons contained in a column found in The Seattle Times entitled, “Soccer: Looks like fun, but be in shape.”

The level of fitness required shocks some newcomers to the sport, says Jane Nauman, president of the Blue Sky Sports Center, which operates soccer facilities in Texas.

“It’s a very physically demanding sport,” Nauman says. In an indoor game that lasts 90 minutes with no breaks, a soccer player is expected to run the entire time.

Larry Hall, president of the North Texas Premier Soccer Association, says he has seen people have heart attacks on the field. It’s not common, but it happens because people don’t prepare themselves, he says.

Bob Black, executive director of the North Texas State Soccer Association, says soccer players don’t have to be good sprinters, but they must have endurance. Players should be able to do any type of strenuous aerobic exercise, he says.

“Go to your doctor, make sure you’re in good shape and can do a lot of running,” Black advises.

A lot of running? The heck? Now they tell me. I mean, how would anybody get the crazy idea that soccer involved a lot of exercise if they just spent some time watching the World Cup?

Screw that, man. I was interested for a moment, but not anymore. I’m sticking with Foosball.

Soccer: Looks like fun, but be in shape [The Seattle Times]