Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Soccer, We Are Go!

Customization never hurts, and often times it definitely improves performance. Personally, I am hoping that this is the case with my new power soccer guard. I purchased the adjustable fiberglass guard from the Power Soccer Shop based in Minnesota. However, because I ride a red tilt-and-space Quantum 6000Z at roughly a 30° angle, these guards do not fit my chair. Therefore, because I'm not very technical, I needed help. It is always good to know people who know how to do things that you don't know how to do. The dilemma consisted of crafting a lightweight structure to attach a fiberglass guard to the frame of my wheelchair so that it could withstand the head-to-head collisions that power soccer sometimes involves. Enter Clark Agnew, a family friend as well as skilled carpenter. After exploring the various attachment points and potential hangups for less than an hour, he had a design beginning to develop. Tonight, I got to pick up the final product and have already begun to push my 13 inch black and gold soccer ball around the house, putting my family’s personal property in perhaps substantial danger (just kidding, I really am most of the time an overly cautious driver).

This is the value of personal craftsmanship in that a product that would be marginally useful to me at best is now perfectly adjusted to me. I am not blaming the Power Soccer Shop at all because they do provide high-quality products that satisfy the needs of most of the wheelchair market, and as a business major, I understand that businesses cannot fulfill the individual needs of every person in the potential market. However, having a personal connection in this area made this product that is of a high quality in and of itself, useful for me. I am very grateful that we were able to have a friend who was able to make this game much more solidly accessible to me. Now, I don't worry about how to attach the guard to my chair; all I need to worry about is how to put the ball into that goal beyond the swiftly spinning wheels of the opposing goalie.

On a totally unrelated note, tomorrow is April Fools' Day. While I will not explicitly write about April Fools' Day, you might see it integrated into my blog. Sports Illustrated fans might have some idea where I'm going with this...

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