The second step

In my last post, I was telling you about how my friends have recently drawn me into their football project. This small project, that was supposed to be a simple football meeting on Wednesday nights has grown into something else: a local dream team. My first reaction when they asked me to join it was to smile a bit intrigued explaining them that I’m not what you call a skilled sportsman and everything I know about football comes from my high school years when I used to play a bit, what I get a chance to watch on TV and the fact that I play with them on Wednesdays. They didn’t let themselves convinced by my arguments and had me going to the trials that took place on a Sunday afternoon, to secure a place in the team. Right now, we’re supposed to start a regional championship and each neighborhood has to come with its own team. As you can see, I’m in a bit of a trouble so I’ve decided to study some football techniques from one of the best players in the world to improve my scoring skills.


hydro 5So, since the European championship just got to an end, and Portugal won, let’s start with one of the moves that Cristiano Ronaldo is famous for: the double scissors. This football scheme is used to disorientate your attacker. It has to be executed fast and you need to be a skilled football player to not stumble upon your own feet (I say this from my own experience) or on the ball to manage a perfect double scissors.


Hydro 4The Cruyff turn is another scheme that became famous and largely used after Johan Cruyff, a Dutch player used it way too much to fool its opponents. The move consists from a turn that is masked by a pass attempt. Basically, Cruyff would move his leg so that to make the opponent believe he was going to pass the ball. The attacker would at that moment move in the direction in which he thought the ball was going, but Cruyff would turn the ball around and swiftly get by its opponent. It’s a simple and elegant move that helped him a great deal through its football career and one which I’m planning to master perfectly in a couple of weeks… or years.


Another famous technique that I believe could be helpful for my football style is a penalty trick. Though we’ve seen Zinedine Zidane or Zlatan Ibrahimovic doing it, this move was brought to the field by the Czechoslovakian (at that time) player Antonin Panenka, who, in 1976 scored the victory penalty for his national team against West Germany, by elegantly chipping the ball into the net instead of sending it with speed. I do love the effect it has on goalkeepers: they move in the direction in which they believe the ball is sent and then they’re caught up surprised that the goal has already been scored. It’s an awesome tactical shot and mastering it would give me great advantage, if we ever need to score through penalty shots.

The first step

I started having back pain a couple of months ago, and when it had become unbearable, I decided to go to the doctor’s office. After several tests and an X-ray, it became clear that I was suffering from osteophytes, which are small-sized calcium and other minerals deposits in my lower back area. I bought a small massage device that I could use for myself or with the help of my wife. I applied all sorts of gels and other anti-inflammatory ointments and for a while, things had started to become a lot better.

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However, several weeks ago, I started having the same pesky pain all over again. Finally, when I asked my physician for another way of dealing with the problem, he recommended me to get into a light sport, do a bit of jogging, or create an exercise routine at home. My problem, just like the one of many other people all over the world, was that I spent way too many hours in a chair at work. I had also put on some pounds over the past couple of years that I didn’t seem to shed regardless of the regimens and diets I tried. Fortunately for me, things weren’t so severe.

After doing some exercise at home and looking for online resources in this sense, one of my friends asked me if I didn’t want to take up soccer. I was excited, to say the least, mostly because this was a neat way of spending my spare time. I could make new friends and get together with the boys every Wednesday evening when everyone seemed to have a bit of time off from work. I was never a huge fan of soccer since I used to play football in high school. Even so, I realized that this was by far the best way of getting the light exercise I needed so much.

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I started looking for the proper equipment for the sport and eventually, I decided to ask for my friend’s opinion on the matter and even go with him to a store. I got some of the cheapest shin guards, shoes, and clothes, partly because I didn’t know just how much soccer would help me deal with my problem, and partly because I wasn’t aware of the fact that this training would go on for a while. I started loving soccer so much that I wanted to meet up with the guys even more often, although we didn’t seem to synchronize our schedules to make it happen. In the summer, we go to a nearby soccer field where we’re free to have as many matches as we feel like. During the winter, we have to pay a subscription to a soccer studio, but it’s worth every penny as we have a lot more fun than we would if we were to go to a gym.

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with my workout routine. I feel healthier and have managed to get back in shape, and my back pain is a notion of the past. For me, soccer made the whole difference both in terms of health and socializing with my buddies.