First things first. There are two types of guest playing in soccer.
1.We really need a player for this weekend, please, please come play with us so we don’t have to forfeit.
And the second type.
2.Come guest play with us so that we can scout you can see if you are good enough to play with us next season.
Let’s make it very clear that I only do the first type of guest playing. Here’s why.
1. You can experiment. When you guest play (especially when guest playing out of retirement), everyone is forced to lower their expectations. They can’t get mad at you for a bad pass because you’re their guest. And I love that. I love trying new distribution when I’m guest playing because it’s okay to mess up.
2. You don’t have to use the players real names. One of the issues that I’ve always run into in my soccer career is remembering my teammates names. I know that it is terrible, and I feel bad when I forget my left defenders name in the middle of a game. But the
show game must go on. So I call her something else. When you guest play, you aren’t supposed to know all the names, so you can get away with calling that girl Margot, when her name has been Maggie for the past 16 years.
3. You can be a diva. You can demand that someone warm you up. Why? Because you are guest playing. You have no obligation to be here. You can walk away at half time, and what is the coach going to do? Kick you off the team? You weren’t on the team in the first place.
4. You get to hear all the soccer drama again. A few months in retirement leaves one out of the loop, so getting back in the loop for a few hours can be an awesome reminder of why you left the loop in the first place. (Plus, everyone knows who is being recruited, and you, even though you’re in retirement, need to know too).
And that’s why I love guest playing.
Maybe All my reasons are selfish reasons, but you are leaving your beachside condo living room couch to help a team out.