Soccer Stories: The difference between men and women on sports teams

  I’m not one to follow the whole “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” idea. Some guys are



I’m not one to follow the whole “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” idea. Some guys are sensitive and some women are hard-edged, just as some men don’t show their emotions and some women can’t conceal how they feel. But when it comes to adult recreational sports, there is a true separation in how women and men play. This post isn’t about skill, athleticism or physicality. It’s about how differently men and women approach being on a team, at least the teams that I’ve watched and played with.

My boyfriend’s soccer team is made up of personalities; that’s for sure. They take jabs at each other about how they played that day. They go to the games an hour before just to shoot the… well, you know. Afterward, they’ll hang out in the parking lot for an hour or so, have a beer, harp on about plays, who made mistakes, how the other team undermined them, what the coach needs to do better. You’d think all of this negativity would have them leaving the park frustrated. But not these guys. Instead they head to the pub to continue the fodder, load up on the free nachos and wings that their sponsor has provided and, of course, drink a few pints of lager, while they reminisce about their glory days of playing soccer in their youth.

With any women’s team I’ve played on, it’s always the same: Five minutes before the whistle blows, all the ladies show up already dressed; they just have to lace up the cleats and get on the field. There’s no swearing or pushing. If there is any, it’s completely unintentional. If someone gets knocked down, you’ll see a hand held out from other player and apologies are exchanged by both. ("Sorry, I didn’t mean to hit you." "Sorry, I ran into you.") Moms are usually watching the kids, even while they play. "Johnny get off the field," and "Go find your father!" can be heard a few times during a game. Afterward, they might complain about the other team, but it’s usually because "her behaviour" wasn’t sportsmanlike. There’s no tailgate party. No meeting up after the game. Everyone has to go to work, feed the kids, visit the in-laws; other priorities. And why would we waste the calories we burned off on alcohol and fried food? Not us.

It seems to me’though, feel free to prove otherwise in the comments section below’that men can commit more time to being part of a sports team, where as women use the team as a way to stay fit.

Now, I’m not a mom, so my schedule isn’t too rigid (other than work, of course). So what do I get out of being on a team? For one, I get to see a good friend at least once a week. We even drive together to catch up. I like that I’m expected to be there. And I like the fact that I run for over an hour’something that I wouldn’t likely do on my own.

Do you agree? Why do you think women don’t take more time to spend with their teammates? Is it fair?

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