The validation of a sport


Rebekah Zahler

I find it quite funny that something involving kicking a round object with my foot could be the sole reason I cry, laugh or admire. I miss a wide-open shot during a game? Tears. My teammate trips over her feet on a run? Laugh. The sophomore prodigy scores two goals in our last high school game? Admire. 


What air is to lungs, soccer is to me. I wonder, does everyone have something that makes them feel like this too?


Everyone laughs, just like everyone cries, some more than others. Everyone admires someone, for whatever reason it may be. The more I think about it, the more I’m sure that there’s no algorithm to calculate what exactly will make you cry the most, laugh the most, have the most admiration for a person. It’s about so many different things, but I can narrow it down to one big factor in particular: validation.


I feel validated when my coach tells me I did well. When anyone does, really, but mostly for her, or other people that know as much as she does about soccer. 


I feel validated when my friend asks me how to do a move, or when I score a goal and the crowd claps with excitement. 


My best friend feels validated when her teachers like her work, when her grades are good and she gets compliments on her writing. She cries when her teacher criticizes her story she poured her heart into and admires the people that can write as flawlessly as she hopes to someday.


You see what I mean? If you think about the factors that so significantly contribute to your feeling validated, there’s a good chance they’re the same things that change how you feel about yourself. The things that make you laugh, cry or admire.