If you're a fan of the NFL, you've heard this term before, "Football shape". You hear it whenever a player is coming off injury and wants to get back into the action. The team says "Joe is getting back into shape but he's not in football shape yet". The player (if young) may think he's ready, he may even be posting workout videos (shirtless of course) on Instagram showing off his physical fitness. But nope, he's not in football shape yet and can't get back on the field. Or he gets back on the field and he just doesn't have that burst.
Well after a COVID-induced 1-year layoff from playing regular pickup soccer, I got back into it couple of days ago. Yeah I know, it's not the same level as the NFL. But boy oh boy, was I not in pickup soccer shape! Physically and I think mentally too. Physically, I didn't have my normal endurance...couldn't play 2 hours without taking multiple stints as goalkeeper (a task nobody wants to do but experienced players know it's a good way to catch your breathe).
Mentally, I was maybe half a step behind. Playing with complete strangers didn't help either. One of the reasons I love soccer is the teamwork involved. When you watch a well-oiled team...it's like watching FIFA videogame. Multiple players seeing the same thing, anticipating the same future event, working off of one another...it's really a beautiful sight to behold. Sadly, it wasn't like that this first time back on the field.
But I survived, I am feeling the effects 2 days but I can't wait to get back.