My first experience playing soccer was when I was 16-years-old. I was in gym class in high school, and they made us play soccer for 6 weeks as a part of our class. This is a sport that I fell in love with, and continue to play even with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. With my multiple sclerosis slowing me down, I can only play the goalie position now though.
The goalie position has a lot of benefits to it though. I still have to practice like everybody else, which allows me to access the same benefits of the other players. I also get other benefits that players on the field do not get though. I will now share with you the top five benefits of playing the goalie position in soccer.
Benefit number one
The goalie is the only position on the field that gets to use their hands on a regular basis, which means I'm able to build my hand-eye coordination. This helps me in my everyday life as a patient with multiple sclerosis as well. I have found that soccer has caused my hand-eye coordination to be more developed than it was when I was going through the process of being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Benefit number two
Playing the goalie position has built my legs up stronger. The squats that a goalie has to do all game long have helped me to develop stronger legs, and I believe has allowed me to keep my ability to walk. I was losing my ability to walk while I was going through the process of being diagnosed, but have since not had to use walking aids as much to get around.
Benefit number three
Playing soccer and other sports has taught me the importance of teamwork again. I lost the knowledge of what it was like to work in a team since I'm no longer able to work, but sports like soccer has reinstalled this skill in me. This is one of the reasons that I have continued to play sports even though I have multiple sclerosis.
Benefit number four
Playing soccer has installed an increase on endurance into me. With my multiple sclerosis I have days that I feel fatigued, but playing sports has given me the ability to get done what I need to do in my everyday life, before I rest for the day. The fatigue that multiple sclerosis causes you to have is not something that completely goes away, but through playing sports like soccer you learn to deal with it long enough to function.
Benefit number five
The best benefit of soccer is the same benefit of other sports, it is just plain fun. This is the reason I love to stay active in as many sports as I can. It is hard sometimes, but the fun that you have with friends, and playing sports is to fun to give up.
I have been playing soccer for the last 15 years, and still love to play even though I have multiple sclerosis. This is the reason I continue to refuse to give up on playing soccer, and other sports.