We all know that diving to the turf and flopping around like a fish out of water anytime another player makes contact with you is just part of the game. But this year, when Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr. grabbed at an obscure body part that might have been his shin near the end of a game with Mexico and beat his palm to the floor as if Method Man had stretched his balls out on an ironing board and was lifting the spiked bat (you know, like in that one Wu-Tang Clan skit M.E.T.H.O.D. Man) I couldn’t help thinking, if flopping is such a big part of the sport (and it clearly is—why else would one of the best players in the world flop with a 1-0 lead with less than 10 minutes to go in a quarterfinal match if he wasn’t sure he’d be rewarded, or at least not punished!?), then can we please get these motherfuckers some acting lessons?
But then it dawned on me. With almost 50 games a year, practice, travel, weekend trips to Ibiza and the thankless task of trying to satisfy some of the finest European and Latin American models you’ve ever seen, we can’t expect these guys to pick up a hobby like acting in their spare time. Truth be told, if you were lovin' on Shakira and trying to stay down with the latest trends in haircuts (currently the part, with the line), you probably wouldn’t have much time to play Magic the Gathering and work on your "slam poetry,"-- am I right?
That’s why I’ve taken it upon myself to create an internet-friendly list for all the footballers out there who’ve been faking it and faking it and faking it yeah, but just can’t seem to make the cut. So without further ado, here are my 6 tips for soccer players to improve their flopping:
Pick an injury. Is it your knee? Your shin? Your ankle? A subtle, almost undefined area in your lower back? Start by imagining a specific injury and stick with it for the duration of your “scene,” or as I like to call it, your flop. It’s probably best to go with an injury that actually occurs in soccer, like say, a sprained ankle as opposed to a traumatic brain injury. If it helps, say your injury out loud as your flopping. For example, “I sprained my knee. Ah! I sprained my knee!” After you’re comfortable with this method, try to just imagine the injury. In acting, this is called visualization, I think.
Overdoing it. The sooner you consider the concept “overdoing it,” the better. What does overdoing it mean? Is it possible for even you to overdo it? I’m going to save you the brain-strain and just come out and say it—yes. It is very possible for even you to overdo it.
Look the part. You wouldn’t go audition for the roll of a pirate dressed in a 5-piece suit. If you’re going to be playing the victim all the time, rolling around on the grass while other men stand over you shaking their heads in disbelief, try not to look like you just finished a Hanes' underwear shoot. Grow a fucking beard like James Harden. Let one of your girlfriends paint some mascara around your eye. Maybe don’t get a haircut on game day.
Be on time. I don’t mean show up for the game on time. I mean time your flop to the moment the actual contact occurs. I understand this can be difficult, and you don’t want to start flopping before the play is called dead. But starting your flop well after the action on the field has stopped, well, is kind of ridiculous. Watch NEYMAR JR of Brazil flop after the play.
The power of imagination. This is a more advanced, nuanced skill to develop. But if you’re going to be one of the best floppers in soccer, as you should all aspire to be, then you need to develop your imagination. You can start by imagining how people who are truly injured act. Does someone who stubs their toe scream bloody mercy through a waterfall of tears? The answer is no. And neither should you when you’re faking your sprained ankle or twisted knee.
Tip: There are other sports, like football, basketball, rugby and even track where athletes are seriously, genuinely, like, really injured on a regular basis. Study their reactions and try adopting some of their gestures. Remember, good artists imitate, but great artists steal.
- Pick your spots. If you were a poker player, you wouldn’t bluff every single hand because eventually the other players would realize you’re full of shit. Flopping is the same way. Don’t flap your arms every time you fall over. If you get the call, consider saving your flop for another time.
I love soccer. After March Madness, the NBA and NFL playoffs, college football, the Olympics, and the New Jersey high school basketball Tournament of Champions, the World Cup is next on my list for the world’s greatest sporting events. That’s why I hate to see elite athletes shit the bed when it comes to the execution of one of their sport’s most strategic, artistic elements—the flop. I can only hope this list will be of service to some of the players out there who wish to improve their games and just don’t know how.
If you’d like to add some more suggestions for our athletes as we dive deeper into the tournament, feel free to put them in the comment section.
Caveat. Nate Lost is not an actor and for the most part has no idea what the fuck he’s talking about. If you’d like more advice, resteem this article, follow him @natelost and transfer at least 5.00 in Steem to his personal Steemit wallet.