I played soccer for 12 years, 8 of which were really competitive, including four years on a Division I soccer team. But once my senior soccer season was over, I was over soccer. I immediately stopped caring. For the past year or so, I couldn't figure out why I didn't miss it.
And finally, I figured it out (as this post will tell)...
My four years of college soccer were rough. I'll spare you most of the details, but basically I had difficulty adjusting to college in general and I was riding the bench, a lot. It was super difficult to go from being an all-star on my club team to a bench rider within months. It crushed me. Once I started playing more, we got a new coach who just screwed up our team chemistry. She was immature, divisive, and just plain crazy. I'll spare you most of these gory details too, but here are some gems from her tenure.
1. After losing a game we should never have lost, we ran sprints for an hour after the game. (a MAJOR NCAA violation)
2. She was so pissed at us one day, at the away game, she made us sleep on the floor in a hotel conference room. Again, huge violation.
3. For shorter away trips, we would take team vans (the 15 passenger variety). She thought it was a good idea to race the assistant coach in these vans. They almost flipped and it was one of the top ten scariest moments of my life.
4. She also thought it was a good idea to have us compete in a sprint-triathlon without any training. (On a side note, I did this after pulling an all-nighter writing a paper and was so high on aderral and red-bull that I didn't even notice the pain until hours later. I also lost my contacts in the pool and had to squint through the 10 mile bike ride and 6 mile run.)
Regardless, as a captain, I put everything I had into the team my senior year. I planned big dawg-little dawg stuff, an entire camping trip, team bonding, thanksgiving dinner, everything. Despite all these efforts, we lost, a lot and it was miserable. I cared SO much and gave the team everything I had, that my brain was so consumed with the team. It was really common for me to tell everyone what to wear to practice (what colors) and then show up wearing the completely wrong thing.
I wouldn't trade those soccer years for anything, but they wiped me out- physically, emotionally, mentally. And it isn't the soccer that I am over, its the competition. I cared SO MUCH for SO LONG that I don't have that care in me anymore. I stopped playing indoor last summer because it was far too competitive. The last straw was when a 40 year old man called me a "fat b*tch." I was so angry, it was unbelievable. I couldn't stop shaking. I am just over that level of competition.
But, the point is...I just, honestly, do not care. I want to play for fun, and only for fun. If I whiff the ball, who cares? If we loose, who cares? Not me, sister, not me! And now that I have figured out why I stopped playing, it feels so good. I'm starting to realize why I loved soccer in the first place. And once my schedule slows down a bit, I'd love to get into coaching a youth team. But--it's just the realization that I really do miss soccer, and I really do love it, but its only the sweet, fun parts that I miss- the reason I started playing as a ten year old.