Why Play for the D.C. Divas?
Reason #5: Large Roster
The D.C. Divas legitimately hold tryouts, and we don’t just accept everyone who shows up. We don’t mean to scare you – we’ve found that the majority of women who try out do make the squad, and many women who are apprehensive at first about trying out realize that they’re in much better shape than they thought! After some solid preparation in training camp, most women are physically and mentally ready to hit the field.
However, some people who try out are given a training plan, asked to get in better shape over the next several months, and invited to try out again next year. Football is a demanding, physical sport, and if a person won’t be physically ready to take the field, we would needlessly put her at risk for injury by allowing her to suit up for us. We can’t and won’t put a player in that situation. We don’t want to deny anyone the opportunity to play, but we have to look out for the basic safety of our players, first and foremost.
The Divas annually have one of the largest rosters in women’s football. As a result, athletes aren’t forced to play both offense and defense and learn two or three different positions and playbooks just because we don’t have enough players. Most Divas rookies start by focusing on one position; this allows them to refine their skills more quickly with less of a learning curve. Some of our more talented veterans do eventually play on both sides of the ball, but only when they’re athletically and mentally ready to do so. They’re not playing multiple positions because our small roster gives them no choice, and that’s a major distinction.
Most importantly, the safety of our players is paramount. If any of our players ever need a rest or get shook up at any time during the game, we have plenty of reserves to take their place. Some teams are known to have injured players simply switch positions rather than leave the field. We find that incredibly irresponsible, and we would never force an injured player to stay on the field just because we don’t have any substitutes to give them a break.
The Divas are a competitive, professional caliber organization. Every athlete who makes the team gets some playing time during the year, and players who work hard to improve earn the time on the field that they deserve. But with the D.C. Divas, playing time is all about performance. Making the team and earning playing time with the Divas is a privilege, not a right, and not every player is guaranteed equal time on the field or even a spot on the roster. To us, that’s what women’s football – and all competitive sports – should be all about.
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