Learning about Sports

At school my work study job is as an athletic training assistant, aka the water girl and veritable piss-on. It requires heavy lifting skills and the ability to not make a fool of yourself in front of many attractive male athletes. Needless to say, I have neither of these skills. I never realized how many different ways there were to make yourself look ridiculous; tripping, spilling water, not understanding what they are saying because of their very strong english accents…not that I’m citing any specific incidents…okay I am but lets stop talking about this.

As a…whatever I should be called, I have to stay on the fields and watch practices for football, soccer, field hockey and the other sports. As a observer with absolutely nothing else to do, I have learned quite a lot about the rules of each sport. While I know a lot about baseball, and a good amount about football, my knowledge of soccer and field hockey is extremely lacking. Until today! Seriously though, even though my knowledge is still pretty small, I learned some new stuff.

My first thought is, how do all field hockey players not have really bad back problems? That shit looks uncomfortable! But honestly, the rules perplex me. I get the whole basic idea – ball into the net, stay in bounds, don’t hit people over the head with sticks – but the actual penalties and rules? I have no idea what’s going on. For example, at the game I worked, play completely stopped for some reason that I couldn’t see and the defending team members all crowded into the goal only to rush back out as the offensive team attacked the goal. After further investigation, I discovered that this is called a penalty corner and it occurs when a player scores a foul inside a certain radius of the goal or does some violent act. Simply by learning this, I tripled my knowledge of field hockey. I apologize to my field hockey friends but this is nowhere near my favorite sport, I think its kind of silly. But I always want to learn new things and I would be totally open to lessons!

As for soccer, I have discovered a new interest. Not only are the players incredibly attractive (no I’m not ashamed to say it), I think the sport is genuinely interesting. Before, soccer was basically just an extremely long game that required quite a large amount of running, which has never been my favorite thing. But now, I can see how interesting it really is. The dexterity required for ball handling and the stamina needed for this REALLY long game is impressive. As a swimmer, I understand endurance (not that I ever really had any) and a soccer practice is just as long and repetitive as swim practice but a little bit less watery. All in all – mad props to soccer players. You guys are awesome!

Overall, training has been pretty great. I’ve gotten lots of health care hours (I need them for school), learned how to tape ankles and wrists (not sure how that will help me in PA life but cool none the less!) and learned about some sports I knew nothing about. Next on the list: Lacrosse, because I know less about it than I know about field hockey, and thats saying something.


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