7 Things I Learned From Giving Team Sports Another Chance

So….this happened. Yesterday I played my first team sport in more than 20 years. The last time I took part in any sort of team sport was softball, age 13. My dad signed me up. I hated every minute of it and ended the season with the final strike-out of the final game (which my team lost).

Other significant sports-related memories in my life are:

  • in Grade 7 I made the soccer team! (because they didn’t cut anyone who tried out)
  • in Grade 5-6 I swam competitively, coming in dead last in every race ever except one. On that one occasion, I came first in my heat in the 50m breaststroke (in the only meet I can remember where they only awarded ribbons to the overall winners)
  • when I was 7, I got a BRONZE MEDAL in a ski race! (I “tied” for third. Out of four.)

My distaste for sports as a kid most likely stems from a combination of a complete absence of skills and utter lack of interest in winning. Probably out of self-preservation – any team with me on it can’t possibly win, but that’s okay, because I DON’T CARE ANYWAY.

My lack of skills is directly related to my negative coordination. Yes, that’s a thing. Let me explain: Remember negative numbers? You have integers – 1, 2, 3 – you have zero – and then you have negative numbers – -1, -2, -3.

On a number line, they look like this:

Number Line

Drawing of a number line with numbers -4 to 4 marked.

If you add them together, they cancel each other out: -3 + 3 = 0.

This same concept can be applied to coordination:

Coordination Line - explaining my utter lack of coordination from www.picklesINK.com

Drawing of a “Coordination Line” marked from left, “ME,” “most dogs on America’s Funniest Videos,” “no coordination,” “2 year-old child,” “regular people,” “Toronto Maple Leafs,” and “cast of Cirque du Soleil.”

So if you put someone with zero coordination on a field with a bunch of players with good coordination, you’re still in good shape. Put me and my high-order negative coordination out there, and I’ll cancel them all out. It’s not a good scene.

Zumba? Let’s not even go there. Just imagine a room full of lithe, graceful dominoes and a giant super-bounce ball.

But I did it. I signed up for Soccer Momz, and I played my first game last night. Ben gave me some advice before I left – he said, “Just go and have fun, mommy. I didn’t know if I would like soccer, but I had a good attitude and I had fun.” (Hmm…I wonder where he picked that up.)

Here is what I learned:

  1. I shouldn’t rely on Ian to tell me what time the game starts.
  2. If knee high boots won’t fit over my calves, I shouldn’t expect shin pads to either.
  3. It’s easier to run for 90 minutes when there are other people doing it too.
  4. My speed has improved from what I remember.
  5. My coordination has not.
  6. But it was fun anyway.
  7. Moms are seriously hardcore.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to practice actually connecting my foot with the ball. And Ben has promised to teach me to drop-kick.

~ karyn

2 thoughts on “7 Things I Learned From Giving Team Sports Another Chance

  1. My standards must be pretty low. All I can think of is “Look on the bright side! You have a fully functioning motor cortex, inner ear and cerebellum! You can walk upright and carry things without using a walker! Some people would kill for that kind of mobility. AND you have potential to increase your co-ordination through repetition of learned movements! The sky’s the limit!” Probably more annoying than helpful.

    I like numbers 1 and 7: Don’t rely on Ian to tell you what time the game starts (details!), and moms are seriously hardcore.

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