If any of you play (or have played) in a league, let's hear about your own favorite goal that YOU actually scored. Describe the build-up, how you made it happen and the feeling when "it's in the back of the net" . Maybe post your team photo also.
I'll describe mine later, depending on what sort of responses there are.
The greatest goal I ever scored was an own goal! We were defending under pressure late in a match, and with my back to the goal, I tried to clear a high cross safely behind our line to concede a corner. Instead, I practically bicycle-kicked the ball into our own net. D'oh!
Indoor (which I kind of hate), we had possession to the right of the goal, I drifted towards the near post as my teammate snuck by his check along the goalline. He drove a pass straight at me and I heel-flicked it past the keeper.
U18 District Cup Finals. 0-0, first half of extra time. Cross comes in from the right and I meet the ball in full flight at the top of the 6 and scream it into the bottom right corner. Keeper didn't even move. We hold on to win 1-0.
(I wrote this a few years ago for a coaching certification assignment, on the balance between rewarding participation versus focussing on those who score)
As a kid in the 1970s, I grew up playing soccer in Aldergrove, idolising the Vancouver Whitecaps (and Lions, and Canucks . . . ). I was small for my age, and a timid child athletically. Put on defence, or at best midfield, by coaches in an era when 6 year olds were playing 11-a-side soccer on a full field and the best players were all "centre-forwards" (thank goodness those days are over), I never scored a single goal in a "real" game as a kid. Ever. Not in soccer. Not in hockey. We moved to Vancouver Island, and as a nerdy teen in a new community I quit all sports.
At the University of Victoria, I met a girl who refereed soccer, and whose club needed coaches. Now past the self-conscious teens and re-discovering exercise and sport, I volunteerd to coach. The next year I became a player again - on a Division 5 team (Oak Bay) in the Vancouver Island Soccer League. Dedicated and fit, but clearly not experienced, fast, or talented, my playing time each game slowly increased.
In about my eighth game, I got the nod to start, for the first time, which was a huge rush. It was at Beckwith Park, against a Cordoba Bay team which was, like us, mid-table. We were tied 1-1 at the half, and I figured I'd probably get subbed at some point, since there were unlimited substitutions. The day was sunny and cool, and we were attacking the east end of the park. I was right midfield, and not having a lot of sprinting pace I cut into the middle more often than I tried to take the ball up the wing.
Our lanky left winger, Steve, made a nice run, but the play bogged down. Our centre-forward Duncan left his spot at the top of the box to go help him. Noticing this, I cut in and up a bit, at the top of the 18. I don't remember which of them knocked the ball in, but it popped through the air to me.
It wasn't an easy shot. I had to jump to my right, and hit the ball while horizontal. Sure, in my memory it's better than it must have really been, but it was a tricky shot. The angle I hit it at forced me to roll through the air to the ground. I didn't see the ball go in. I didn't need to. I could see, in that split second, that the angle was right, and the keeper was beaten.
At that moment, years of childhood frustration and athletic inadequacy were exorcised. I don't know why, but I did a ridiculous "airplane" celebration with my arms. I wish that I hadn't, but it had never occurred to me to think about what I'd do if I ever scored a competitive goal. You can't "act like you've done it before" if you literally haven't!
Every kid should get to score. Not in practice, in a game. I never did. I never realised until I finally did score, as an adult, how much it had hurt me, as a kid, to be so peripheral to the sports I participated in for so many years. Participation ribbons do have a place, and we need to value things like defensive tackles, saves, assists, and effort: but as coaches we need to make sure we do our best to put all of our kids in a position where, in the years before they play on a full-sized field, they all get a chance to feel what I had to wait until age 20 to experience - the satisfaction of all that practice culminating in getting to feel what it is like to actually score a goal.
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