Why do people in America call voetbal / football 'Soccer'?
And why do they call football 'football'? It just doesn't make sense to me. From what I've seen (and that's not much, I'm sorry) football doesn't include a lot of feet touching the ball. But if you read the article I placed at the word football, you will see there is a lot more to it.
References to 'soccer'
References to 'football'
(for more info see: This article)
If the difference in the name says anything about teamspirit, I do understand that they give it another name here.
My oldest son played voetbal in the Netherlands. He even did his first walking while playing voetbal. (He started walking very late, because he wanted to be sure he could do it well immediately, talking about being Gifted, ha!).
When we just moved here, he wanted to play voetbal again as soon as possible, so we started looking around for a good voetbal club. That was a pretty tough job. Fortunately a colleague of my husband knew a good club, whatever that means around here?!
In the Netherlands voetbal is a very popular sport. We used to live in Veldhoven, a village with about 44.000 residents. In Veldhoven there are four voetbal clubs. In Aurora, the city where we live now, is only one soccer club. And Aurora has about 200.000 residents.
My former classmate Joris Mathijsen is in this picture showing teamspirit!
Playing voetbal in the Netherlands is much more about teamspirit then it is in the US:
- Parents and children gather at the voetbal club, before they go to a game. They even drive together, because that is 'gezellig'!
- After and before playing voetbal, all the children go to the dressing room. The trainer discusses the game in there. Parents are welcome after the trainer is done talking to the kids.
- After a game all children shower together and have fun together. Parents help the children (if necessary).
- There are voetbal canteens at every club, where parents and children can talk and drink something after or before a game.
- When a team goes to a tournament, the tournament lasts at least one day or more. There are multiple games taking place those days and in between those games, the children and parents have fun together.
- There is a celebration in the canteen if a team ends at the first place during a season. They get their picture taken, a cake, something to drink and a lot of fun together.
- A lot of parents volunteer at the voetbal clubs. They are trainers, coaches, canteen staff, board member etc. Almost the whole club runs on volunteers.
- In our voetbal team one parent used to make coffee every morning before a game and share it with all the parents. Some even brought cookies for the whole team.
- A lot of close friendships are the result of playing voetbal!
What a difference with playing soccer in the States:
- Everyone drives on their own unless they need someone to take care of their children.
- The children gather at the field of the club they play that day. The trainer gives them a speech before playing, where ever. After the game he gives them a speech again, but there is no room for that. The next game is getting ready.
- After a game no-one showers and everyone goes home on their own.
- There are no 'having a drink together' time to have fun. People just leave, probably going to the next sport their child attends.
- There are tournaments and they take place on different days. There usually is one game a day or maybe two games a day. When there are two games a day, there is so much time in between that everyone goes home (or again to another sport).
- People do take pictures of teams that win, to put on Shutterfly.
- A club doesn't ask you to become a volunteer, they force you. Everyone needs to help during a tournament. And when you are there, the task you have to do is completely unnecessary. There are volunteer jobs that you can choose, such as team manager. In my opinion the team manager does the job of the coach / trainer, without getting payed.
- Here you only see your 'voetbal friends' while playing voetbal and nowhere else.
A lot of children play as individualists here. They don't pass the ball, even if other players are all open! Of course there are Dutch players that 'pingel' all the time as well, but not everybody. (Pingelen means playing as an individual). I hear parents that make a promise, about using a tablet when their children score. I think this is related to 'following your dreams, being the best and get a scholarship'...while I wouldn't choose voetbal as your sport than. Football is way bigger around here.
Playing voetbal in the Netherlands costs you about 130 euro per year, which is about 180 dollars. Voetbal is partly subsidized by local government and partly sponsored by local companies. The outfit is usually sponsored, you usually don't have to pay for that. Here it is sponsored too, but you also have to pay for it. You only have to buy shin guards and cleats, if your clothes are sponsored. You do have to give the outfits back after a year, so other teams can wear them. And the club has balls to play with, you don't have to bring your own.
Here you pay about 1500 dollars a year and another 150 dollars for the clothes. If your team goes to a far away tournament, the players have to pay the coaches expenses. And if you want to play in winter as well, you pay extra for that. A lot of the volunteer coaches in the Netherlands were even better than those around here, who get a lot of money for coaching.
A voetbalclub in the Netherlands is comparible to community soccer here, moneywise. If you look at the level of soccer around here, the level of community soccer is way lower. In the Netherlands you go to a voetbalclub when you turn four. Children are put together based on their age level. The trainer / coach, teamleader and internal scouts follow the children. After playing voetbal for a year they don't have to try out. The club makes their own teams, based on what the experts of the club have seen. It doesn't matter how good you are at voetbal, you can always keep playing for the same club, as long as you have fun. Parents don't go shopping around for try-outs. A lot of children stay at the same voetbalclub their whole lives. They start as a four year old and end up being trainers and life time members.
We went to a game of the Chicago Fire once. While being there our son noted that the Chicago Fire team played at the same level as the first team of RKVVO (voetbalclub in the Netherlands). And my husband had to agree with him.
While watching the games or practise in the States there is no canteen, no shower or real team spirit. If you're lucky there is a real restroom and a field that is straight and without holes or goose poop.
Voetbal in the Netherlands creates teamspirit, lifetime friends and solidarity...
...maybe that is why the Dutch people don't need as many churches as the Americans, they find solidarity in other ways. But that's a whole other topic!
I wish all the people that love watching voetbal a lot of fun, while watching the World Championship!
And of course I say "Hup Holland Hup"!
If you would like to get all my new blogs the minute I post them, please LIKE my Facebookpage: https://www.facebook.com/dutchalien
Or you can type your email address in the box below and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.