Twist on soccer puts players back in the game

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COLORADO SPRINGS — This isn’t your typical soccer game.

“It’s definitely a lot harder than I thought it would be,” said Lily Fleck, who is a member of Team Outkast.

There’s no shuffling.

“It’s still a kind of similar intensity,” Fleck said.

And no running.

“You still break a sweat doing it.”

Other than that, the rules are pretty much the same in walking soccer.

“I thought it could be a great thing for me to try, especially coming back from injury from having an injury. Because my cardio isn’t back up yet, so running is a lot more impact on my knee,” said Katherine Brownsberger, who is a member of Team Kick Buttowski.

The concept started in 2011 and was recently started at Colorado Springs Sports Center.

It caters to those recovering from injury and helps improve balance, strength, stamina, and builds on tactical gameplay.

“Since it’s at a slower pace, you can learn a lot more dribbling skills, and a lot more tricks that are on the ground, where you can still keep one foot on the ground,” Fleck said.

Fleck says she’s played soccer since she could walk and says switching to walking soccer is an adjustment.

“I’m a cross-country runner, and so, when I’m on the soccer field, I run the whole field the whole time. And so, trying to calm the urge to run is definitely harder,” Fleck said.

For Brownsberger, this game is helping her build back up her strength, but she still feels the urge to run.

“I noticed myself several times trying to do more than I should have been doing,” Brownsberger said.

Whether you’re an avid player or a newbie, these players agree that walking soccer is for everyone.

“I was I think 48 when I started to play soccer. And they’re like, ‘oh I couldn’t do it,’ I didn’t know either. But I think this is a wonderful opportunity for them to come in. Might not have the cardio just yet, but be able to walk and really try to pick up some things and try to move the ball across the field,” Brownsberger said.

Click here for details on playing walking soccer.

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