Soccer is a fun outdoor activity that’s known for its strategy, teamwork, and adrenaline rush. The sport’s rules are easy for newcomers to play and learn along the way. Soccer is considered an adored sport for both entertainment and watch value, but I wanted to dive deeper into the impact of the sport on the mental and physical health of its players.
I interviewed two people in the women’s soccer team to ask them questions on the subject: Josh Smith, the head coach for the team, and Quinnlan Edens, a sophomore player and second captain for the team. For my first question, I wanted to know what soccer meant to them by asking, “Why do you like soccer?” Coach Smith responded, “I grew up playing soccer. The game is something I fell in love with because of the constant change and ability to affect the team.” Quinnlan added, “It’s a team sport where you can make great connections and feel successful. It’s really fun, and I’ve been playing soccer since I was four. You can learn details that can better develop your experience in the sport.”
For my following question, I asked “How do you think soccer helps players’ physical health?” Coach Smith responded, “It allows players to have a round of fitness with cardio, speed training, injury prevention from lift weighting, and incorporates nutrition as well.” Quinnlan included, “It helps by keeping us active six days a week. Running helps us become stronger.”
Most people can benefit from playing sports whether it’s for recreational fun or on a professional team. It can help people improve and better themselves in certain things they struggle with. I then asked, “Does soccer help improve your confidence, self-esteem, or reduce anxiety? Coach Smith responded, “I think it can. There’s a side of pressure in plays, but we try our best not to define the players through minutes. There are new stressors with the amount of playing time, but how you set up the environment to be positive can be beneficial for the entire team. We try to embrace their role but not settle.” Quinnlan added, “It helps me escape from stress. It helps decrease my stress by doing something that I love. It helps my confidence by having something I’m good at, and I know that I’m contributing to the team and in something bigger than myself.”
I concluded my interview by asking Quinnlan specifically if soccer had helped her socially. She responded, “Having friendships with your teammates also allows you to make mutual friends with your teammates’ social circles. Soccer also helps with positive connections between teammates and staff.”
I asked Coach Smith and Quinnlan why students should come and support their team, and Coach Smith responded, “We have a fun group to watch. I think there’s a lot of energy and excitement with goals, and we have many goals this season. We have had the most shutouts in the last ten years.” Quinnlan added, “They can look forward to our team as we’ve had the best season in years, and they can support us as we aim for the tournament.” I encourage you to support the Crimson Storm soccer teams as they continue with their seasons this fall.
Photo by SNU Athletics