Soccer: A Thankful Player Finds Beauty in the Game

Soccer: The Beautiful Game

The game known as football all over the world (known as soccer in the USA) has been referred to as “the beautiful game.” Although the exact origins of the phrase is unknown, it is widely accepted that Pele (the most famous footballer of all time) coined the phrase. In 1977, he made it official with his autobiography My Life and the Beautiful Game.

Most footballers will say that the phrase is a celebration of a sport that unites so many people, despite their differences in politics, origin, religion, or affluence. To me, it is being able to witness the unlikely heroes. It is the ability to see life-changing moments for those that are often looked over.

Soccer: Select/Club v High School Athletics

I wish I could say that playing in a select/club brought about many of these moments. However, my most beautiful moments have been at the school level, or outside of club. Only in this situation can you see people make moments of memory that would not be possible at the club level.

In other parts of the world, sports and education are commonly kept separate. That being the case, there is a very strict performance expectation at the club level that leaves many people on the sidelines. School athletics gives everyone the opportunity to be a part of the program, especially in places like San Marcos Academy.

When I see a smaller, younger, or challenged player make a good touch, good play, or a goal, the jubilation is through the roof. To see the team celebrate their accomplishment and witness the look on that player’s face is “beautiful.”

So many onlookers judge a program by the win. It’s great when the result goes your way. However, the only thing truly in each player’s control is his/her attitude and effort. I cannot win a game without my teammates. I’m also not in control of their attitude or effort. The only one I can judge is myself. Some people make this an excuse for not winning or for mediocrity. I’m not a part of that mindset. I believe that each player should give every bit of effort and passion to each play, and let the results be as they may.

Soccer: Thank You, SMA Coaches!

As a senior at SMA, I want to express my gratitude for all the coaching staff. Coaches in every sport want nothing but the best for all the athletes. They are there because of their passion for their game and their love for the students. They work for very little money, put in long hours, and have to listen to every self-appointed expert on the way they should coach. They endure and sacrifice a great deal for me and the rest of the Bear athletes.

Being a footballer is all I know. I’m so glad that I have had the experience to work with the SMA athletic staff and many wonderful footballers from around the world. I’m blessed to have witnessed the opportunity and joy in the lives of other players. I’m thankful for the sacrifices of all the coaches, and for all that they have to endure. You all have made it a beautiful game.

–By Devon Hethcock, SMA Class of 2017, 4-year varsity soccer letterman