4 min read

Team Sports

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When I was a kid, I was terrible at team sports. I was the kid who picked dandelions on the soccer team and batted last in baseball, well after the game was decided.

I sucked at team sports. And I hated every minute of it, because I basically felt like a failure every time I got out on the field.

I also went to a middle school and junior high that said I either had to play sports, or I had to be in a musical.

This is a problem, because I was (and remain) tone deaf. I love listening to music, but there's not a single musical bone in my body.

When I was really young, and piano playing was the rage, I took lessons for about six months and got to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," at which point my mom agreed to give up on paying for lessons.

I took trombone, too, when I was in 2nd grade, when my entire class took some instrument. There was one other trombone player in my class – I think his name was Grant – and while everyone else got to have a solo show for their parents, I sat behind Grant and pretended to play.

Nonetheless, I went for musical theater instead of sports when I was in 7th grade, and was told constantly by the teacher to 'back up on the stage' to the point where it would presumably be harder to hear my voice, which drowned out my best friend at the time. He was the lead and had an amazing voice.

When 8th grade rolled around, I changed schools, and musicals weren't an option anymore. It was football or soccer, and I already knew what would happen if I played soccer. So I went out for football, where they saw my general lack of sprint speed and decided to put me on the offensive and defensive lines.

Mind you, I was maybe 90 pounds with no muscle tone and scared of pretty much everyone.

I stuck with it, though. Even though the other kids on the team made fun of me at first for being tiny and generally getting the shit kicked out of me everyday. Even though I would come out bloody or wrapped in ace bandages more often than not.

Part of it was just that I wanted to be cool like all the kids on the football team were cool. And part of it was that my parents were excited about me playing football because they thought it would toughen me up.

Most of it was due to having one really awesome coach.

Unlike every coach I'd had for every team sport before that, this one paid attention to me. This one had faith in me for no reason whatsoever, and that caused me to have faith in myself. He even nicknamed me (the "Bratweiler") because I figured out that I kind of liked letting my pent up anger out on the field.

the bratweiler

My kiddo has gotten it into his head that he's bad at team sports, basically because he hated soccer and T-ball about 4 years ago. He's seven and a half.

When he was adamant that he go out for rugby, I was a bit surprised. He, like me, excels in a lot of individual sports, but is pretty bad at the team aspect of it. I wanted him to get better at teamwork; I just wasn't sure if that was going to happen in sports. I was holding out more hope for him in a rock band, since he's a pretty good drummer and his best friend is a pretty good guitarist (all things considered... as I said, they're 7).

I said yes.

The first practice ended with him walking off the field in tears because he didn't score a try (what they call a touchdown for all of us here in the US – don't worry, I had to look that up). He vowed never to go back.

We played a bunch later that day, and he agreed to give it another shot.

This week, he did, and he stayed on the field. He didn't score (well, he tried, but he ran towards the wrong end zone or whatever it's called in rugby), but I saw the coaches try and make plays just for him, which made me think of my football coach way back when.

I'm glad he doesn't want to quit anymore.

Other neato stuff

Even been curious about how much a product placement in a movie would cost you? Here's a mini-guide.

I long ago tired of hearing people talk about their authentic selves, as if there was something different from what you do every day and who you are inside. Sorry... there's not. Your actions are who you are, at least to the rest of the world. This philosopher tries to get there by talking about Jesus a bit, and a whole bunch of other stuff. I don't know if I think it works, but it did remind me that I have to actually be the person I want to be – hoping for it or thinking about it isn't enough.

That's it for today!

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