To many the soccer ball may seem simplistic in nature; one may think the sole purpose of this round object is to be kicked into a large net. The soccer ball possesses greater significance than what people perceive. Prown says an object has meaning if it is linked to a sense of self, the structure of the soccer ball does connect an individual to their sense of self by teaching the importance of diligent practice, by improving cognitive problem solving and by encouraging introspection and acceptance of one’s mistakes.
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The soccer ball teaches an individual that daily preparation and training are essential to perfect a certain skill.
The aerodynamic properties of the soccer ball allow it to travel at speeds of up to sixty miles per hour when kicked aerially to another player (source 2). Through meticulous training, players develop fundamental skills such as passing, shooting, ball control, first touch and dribbling. Perfecting fundamental skills allows players to keep up with the fast-paced nature of the game. For example, in soccer first touch is defined as the opportunity a player has to touch the ball with his or her foot, body, or head as the receiver of a pass (source 1).
It is not uncommon for players to extensively practice this skill; an article published in the Guardian found that players in the Dutch football club FC Trent would do a drill where they would practice the first touch skill ten thousand times during the duration of a practice session up to six days a week. Furthermore, the coach added that players were expected to practice this skill further when they would go home (source 3). The less time a player takes to complete an action, the more time he or she has to take advantage of the situation. To successfully complete any basic skill in soccer, one must have adequate ball control from all parts of the foot that can only be built from practice.
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