Defense Is My Life Philosophy

I played soccer from elementary school to high school. I had a lot of natural talent, but I didn’t have a driven and competitive personality. I enjoyed team sports for its social component. I just didn’t really care about winning.

On the other hand, I tended to play hard and could be quite aggressive. I was fast and my pain threshold was high. I didn’t care about getting kicked or taking a ball to the face.

I enjoyed the challenge of soccer. It is a sport that requires talent to be good at. Controlling a ball with your feet is not an ability that comes naturally. You have to learn that skill.

I mostly played defense. I sometimes was put on offense, but I didn’t have the personality for it. I’m not a star or a leader. I could be decent at playing offense and scoring points. My failing, however, was not having a team mentality.

This is why I was better at defense. I enjoyed taking on offense more than being an offensive player. In the position of offense, it is about planning and executing that plan with others. Defense gives one more freedom and it is also more reactionary. As defense, you can wait and observe.

I liked being further back to watch the game. It gave me the opportunity to study the opposing team. With offense, there is constant action and attack that it doesn’t allow for the time and space to think. There is a lot of pressure on offensive players. I dislike pressure.

Still, halfback was a fun position. I liked the flexibility and the speed necessary to take advantage of that flexibility. It was great to go from pushing the play across the field and then quickly dropping back. I was perfectly fine with doing offense when opportunity arose, even though I had little desire for being a star player.

My greatest pleasure was blocking shots and disrupting plays, wherever on the field that took place. One of my happiest memories was maybe when I was playing halfback. The other team also had a halfback who was this large black girl and she had a powerful kick.

At the start of play, they would drop the ball back to her and she would send the ball flying down the field. Everyone on my team would immediately fall back even before she kicked. I decided to do the opposite.

I ran straight at her and took a body blow. It was beautiful and I just kept repeating that every time they attempted the same play. I didn’t feel pain to any great extent and so that didn’t bother me. I just loved destroying someone else’s brilliant plan. They had this set up that had always worked for them and I made it useless.

That is my personality. Even as an adult, I’m still like that. I enjoy analyzing and picking apart people’s approaches to anything. I’m an observer who looks for weaknesses. And then I can be quite direct when I feel motivated.

I’m still not much of a team player. I’m definitely not leadership material. I don’t want to be a star. I’m more comfortable playing in the background. But I’m flexible enough to take advantage of whatever position I find myself in.

My general attitude in life is defense. I’m not a proactive kind of person. I take life as it comes.

Don’t ask me to care if the team wins.

2 thoughts on “Defense Is My Life Philosophy

  1. Calling Dr. Monkey-Wrench–

    in Britain, we could call you “Spanner,” as in “a spanner in the works.”

    have you read _the Monkey Wrench Gang_? i haven’t, tho i hear it’s

    good. your book could by _I, Monkey-Wrench_. [mine could be just

    plain _I, Monkey_.]

    Re “I enjoyed team sports for its social component. I just didn’t really

    care about winning.” — i suspect you might be team-oriented if our

    culture ever fields a real team of genuine or “deep” cooperation.

    & have you read _No Contest: the Case Against Competition: Why We

    Lose in Our Race to Win_ [’86, ’92] by Alfie KOHN? Great stuff.

    • “have you read _the Monkey Wrench Gang_?”

      Yes, I have read that book. I guess it was sometime in the mid-to-late 1990s when I read it. I enjoyed it at the time.

      “i suspect you might be team-oriented if our
      culture ever fields a real team of genuine or “deep” cooperation.”

      Maybe so. I’m not against teams. I enjoyed playing on a team, but I probably would have been fine playing an individual sport.

      One of my favorite activities these days is to go for long walks or runs by myself. For many years, I played hacky sack or footbag, which I was better at than soccer. Hacky sack is even less team-oriented and competitive, at least as how I played it.

      It would be interesting to play on a team as you describe it. I do like genuine or “deep” cooperation. I like to cooperate, in the same way I’d rather discuss something than debate it.

      “have you read _No Contest: the Case Against Competition: Why We
      Lose in Our Race to Win_ [’86, ’92] by Alfie KOHN?”

      That book I have not read. I’ll keep it in mind. If I come across a copy of it, I’ll check it out.

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