Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Blog 14: My Hunger Games
by Christen Press, June 1st, 2012 12:06AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  americans abroad, sweden

MOST COMMENTED



[THE PITCH] To compete... According to Merriam-Webster, to compete means to strive consciously or unconsciously for an objective. A "kill or be killed” mentality might be too strong a statement, but in my world, to compete is to be in a state of war.

This year, Allsvenskan is arguably the most competitive women’s soccer league in the world. With the influx of international players, the league has both strength and parity. The result is sure to be a grueling 22-game, seven-month season, A Hunger Game of sorts, of which I am right in the midst.

Like the character in the movie, Katniss Everdeen, KGFC is perhaps not the obvious pick for a Victor. We are not the symbolic “Career Tributes,” yet the team’s 2011 success has a lot of teams gunning for us. The pre-season projections ranked us 4th, but it feels like we are the dark horse. Nobody counts Katniss out. In the crucible of competitive sports, only one is left standing. Be it against the recently promoted Vitssjö or internationally star-studded Tyresö, every game for us this year will be a blood bath.

Unlike Katniss, however, we find fun in our fight and take pride in our plight. In order for us to win we must push ourselves to our mental and physical edge. And that is the strength of our game. Winning isn’t easy, and if it were, it would not be so much fun. Winning isn’t everything, but like Vince Lombardi said, “The will to win is everything.”

Teammate Anita Asante fighting for the ball.



And then, there are The Games we Hunger for. The rivalries bred from competition, the "derbies" as the Swedes call them, the big games … the ones that, even though you’re fighting for the same three points, they mean so much more. When you leave it all on the field, victory tastes oh so sweet. And after a great meal, you push back from the table feeling satisfied.

Some might say I was born for The Games. When I was 12-years-old, I vividly remember the final minutes of a match that my team was winning handily. Sliding from behind and knocking my mark off the field, a mom on the opposing team’s sideline screamed that I was “a little monster!” Competition for me, however, sometimes transcends the field.

My sisters concur with the soccer mom. They tell me that when we were growing up, I was a little monster. Tyler once described our childhood playing Nintendo64 and Monopoly as anything but fun. "If she wasn't winning, the game was miserable for everyone because she was so crazy about it. Whoever was winning was subjected to ‘torture’—a constant stream of carping, taunting and recriminations.”  Well, woops…

Love The Games



I admit, there were times when it felt like my whole life—not just football—was a Hunger Game. In high school, I looked over my shoulder at my schoolmates’ grades to make sure I was doing better. I wasted time jealous of friends’ good fortune … I had to be happier! My modus operandi was to jump higher, run faster, and sing prettier … okay that last one was a lost cause! The Tribute within me lost track of boundaries, growing so big that I began to judge my life only in juxtaposition to those around me. My inner Tribute began to eat away at life’s true blessing: contentment.

***

Sweden has been the perfect model for keeping The Games inside The Arena. My teammates are too short to be Top Models, but even Tyra would admit that they are fierce! For my first month, one particular teammate picked me as her partner in our daily warm-up competitions because she knew I did not understand the Swedish instructions and then laughed as she beat up on me. If all else failed, she would simply ljuger och luras(lie and cheat) until she could declare herself winner. But, as they leave The Arena, my teammates put down their bows, and enter a world that values equality and opportunity. They let things go.

Teammate Lisa Ek battling



Sometimes competition fuels us and pushes down our personal life path. And sometimes, it unites us and leads us toward our shared goals. Our locker room is void of the foul stench of inner team rivalry; we have more than enough stink emitting from our shin guards, thank you! My teammates want to be the best … fotbollspelare. Off the pitch, they are happy, perhaps even content. And as for me? Well, I’m working on it!

Rookie for life, Christen Press

https://twitter.com/#!/ChristenPress

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1063470145

http://www.christen-press.com/



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Banc of California chief executive Steven Sugarman    
"We have a lot of relationships with the ownership group. We're probably zero or one degree ...
CCL: Vancouver takes charge in MLS battle    
The Vancouver Whitecaps, losers of their last four MLS games, took command of Group C in ...
MLS Countdown: Sounders activate Torres    
Nearly a year after suffering a torn ACL in just his fourth MLS appearance, Panamanian defender ...
U.S. Abroad: Yedlin arrives back in northeast England    
DeAndre Yedlin arrived in Newcastle Tuesday night as Newcastle United looked to conclude a deal for ...
What They're Saying: Sigi Schmid    
"Once a team gets confidence, medium-sized things become little things and little things disappear. When you're ...
Chicago Magic's Sabbi signs with Spain's Las Palmas    
Emmanuel Sabbi, an 18-year-old Chicago Magic PSG forward who has been a regular with the U.S. ...
U.S. Abroad: U-20s flee college for pros    
The exodus of college or college-bound players to Europe continues as two U.S. under-20 national team ...
Video Pick: Christian Pulisic scores in friendly    
In Borussia Dortmund's final friendly before the 2016-17 Bundesliga season kickoff this weekend, 17-year-old American Christian ...
Video Pick: Top 10 long-distance Messi goals    
After Lionel Messi opened his 2016-17 La Liga account with two long-range goals in Barcelona's 6-2 ...
CCL: Three MLS clubs in action this week    
The slumping Vancouver Whitecaps have a chance to put themselves in a position to take command ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives