From an outsider’s perspective, the life of a freestyler must look like a breeze. Making outrageous tricks with a football look absolutely effortless whilst picking up a horde of followers and free match balls in the process, life couldn’t be easier right?
WRONG. If only they knew the struggles and heartache that all freestylers have to go through on a regular occurrence. No doubt there are more, but here are eight that we’ve all encountered.
8. Freestyle Shoes That Don’t Last Long Enough
They are an absolute essential, yet you’d be lucky if you get more than three months out of your freestyle shoes. Whether it’s countless holes or just general obliteration — resulting in the original color you bought them in becoming a mystery — freestyle shoes go through a lot. I found myself going through pairs quicker than I was rolls of toilet paper.
7. IT’S NOT FOOTBALL!
Even with the increase in popularity of freestyle football over the recent years, it seems the general public still fails to acknowledge freestyle as its own sport. I’d like to take this opportunity to address the masses on behalf of all freestylers to set the record straight on a few things:
– We have zero intention of doing any of this on the pitch
– We are flattered that you would love to jump in and two foot tackle us or hoof the ball away
– We know who the F2Freestylers are
6. Camera Fail
Let me set the scene for you. You’ve been out for almost two hours now and you are still busting your guts to try and get that amazing clip you wanted. When you finally get it, you rush over to your camera only to have your elation turn to despair when you see that the battery died, or those agonizing words, ‘SD Card Full’ smack you back in the face.
After all of that hard work, there is no heartbreak quite like having to do it all over again.
5. Post It Or Save It?
One of the most challenging situations for some freestylers, and a true test of their self-restraint, is when they have a freestyle clip and are torn between posting it right away or saving it as part of a larger video project. You know, that very same video project that you told yourself you were going to do but still haven’t got many (if any) clips for yet.
4. Finding a Training Spot Safe From Mother Nature
This struggle isn’t necessarily finding the spot itself, but more so that a torrential downpour occurs the second you leave your home for a training session. I know I’m not alone on this one either. You have your bags all packed and you are feeling really motivated for your session before Mother Nature cruelly steps in to say, “How about now, mate?”
3. Shin Splints
Now there’s enough variety in injuries for this article to have been entirely filled out with freestylers’ injuries alone, but this one is notoriously pesky.
Shin splints typically occur when freestylers like myself take the “lowers for life” expression a bit too literally. All that stamping action brings that pain at the top of the shin that becomes incredibly tender to a point where even climbing the stairs becomes unbearable. The worst part is just how long they take to heal. All you want to do is go out and freestyle, but those golf ball lumps on your shins are telling you otherwise.
2. Video Jacking
Video Jacking \ˈvidēō jakiNG\ v. slang. When a video that you created gets posted by another account without properly giving you credit.
This is possibly one of my biggest pet peeves and it extends way beyond just freestyle — it’s basically theft. We could write an entire article in itself about how social media has changed freestyle football and how the big pages on social media are basically fighting, copying and stealing content from one another.
The victim is always the freestyler though. We learn via our mates mentioning us in a comment that OUR OWN CLIPS have been shared without a trace of a tag, mention or credit. A moment of silence for victims of video jacking that have missed out on endless likes, comments, and followers.
You can’t call yourself a football freestyler without having experienced a proper wipeout that leaves you dazed and confused on the floor.
We’ve all been there and we all love to laugh at other’s misfortunes. By becoming more creative with our tricks, we have in turn found new ways to mess up and humiliate ourselves on camera. While bloopers can be painful sometimes, rest assured, they are nothing more than a blip. If anything we should give them credit as they truly do embrace the #fslife tag. We fail, we suffer a tiny bit, we laugh, then we get up and try again repeatedly until we get it.