When better. At first glance you notice the

When you think of a soccer ball, what do you think of? Perhaps a simple enough, black and white, round object that is just kicked around for the sport of it. Its purpose is to simply be transferred from the field, pass the goalie, and into the net for a goal. Pretty straightforward, right? That’s what a soccer ball is to a mere observer. Most would take for granted how a soccer ball looks. They would deem it as an insignificant detail to the sport.

To those people, they see this marvelous object as just a ball. Nothing more and nothing less. Others, however, know better. At first glance you notice the distinct black and white color coordination belonging only to the soccer ball. A closer look will reveal twenty white, hexagonal and twelve black, pentagonal surfaces that make up the covering of the ball. When rotating the ball you notice numerous cuts along the surface of the ball, the gray, crosshatched lining peeking out from under. Splotches of mud caked on from playing in the rain adorn the surface of the ball. The feeling of the ball is something entirely unto itself.

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If you pick up a soccer ball and hold it in your hands, you can feel the smoothness of the covering and how round in shape it is. As your hand curves around the ball, you feel the graininess of the dirt-covered surface between your hand and the exterior. As your hands continue to trail the ball’s surface, you are able to tell the difference when your fingers fall into the smooth crevices of the stitching, in comparison to the delicately rough cuts and scrapes on the surface of the ball, made from the impact against a concrete wall. A perfect ball, if squeezed, will give in to the pressure of your fingers ever so slightly. If kicked properly, the fierce impact of your foot meeting the ball does not hurt at all.

It is, in fact, an empowering feeling. Rolling the ball under your foot, you get a feel for its shape, how it moves, and its resistance to your weight. The sound of a soccer ball is really something special. You can tell by the sound the ball makes how successful your kick was. Essentially, the sound aimed for is a loud, deep, popping sound. This shows you have kicked the ball in the right area. A hollow, higher pitched popping sound is achieved when kicked improperly, as in with the front of your foot, which can also be very painful.

One of the best sounds to hear is when you successfully complete a volley, or kicking the ball while it is in the air, or bouncing. The crisp, clear-cut boom reached is more satisfying than anything else. Hearing your strength in the ball is also a great thing. The deep, loud, popping is even louder and the resonant sound of a gate rattling loudly or the hard thud of the ball against a wall is equally great as the sound of a volley. Yet another familiar sound of a soccer ball is the sound it makes when coming in contact with flesh. You can practically feel the pain in the sharp, definite sound made by the contact. A more unnoticed sound would be when the ball is rolling through grass.

The faint swishing is barely audible above the heavy breathing of the player.


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