The last time I attempted a team sport for more than Greek-affiliated bragging rights was elementary school. Strangely, our first Cobblestone Diaries kickball game (3/5 edition) triggered a familiar nervousness and nostalgia of recesses of the past notorious for their team-pick-heartbreak.
Luckily, post grad life is nothing like that. Let me start out by saying, our team is the best. No, we didn’t know each other before. No, we don’t have matching camouflage t-shirts like our opponents. No, we don’t quite know all of the rules of the game. And none of us are millionaire athletes. But, we did have pre AND post game happy hour. We did bring our own sound system to the field. And Kleckley might be the best pitcher I have ever seen. Put her in coach, she is ready to play.
So, here are a few things our first kickball game of the season has taught us.
- Naming your kickball team is not for the weak of heart. Recruit a wordster for this part. While we are still technically on the roster as “IND” because our league keeps forgetting to change it, our given name is “Pitch, don’t kick my vibe.” Punny, right?
- If you are the organizer in your group of friends be prepared to be named captain (regardless of the serious lack of athletic ability you may bring to the table). I may purchase a hat to make it official.
- Don’t be intimidated by body-builder, camo-wearing opponents. They are just there for fun too. And if you’re nice, sometimes, they will even argue with the ref in your favor.
- Use a bathroom before you show up. Port-o-potties placed near a children’s playground are 1000 times more disgusting then the ones we used at an 11-hour music festival.
- Playing a team sport teaches you things about your friends you never knew. Example A: Porter was born to coach. She wont let me not kick for the sake of the score because it is “abandoning our team.” She subscribes to the “never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” stuff. Example B: Our friend Ladson Wilkes was born to win. She never told us she was a kickball ninja.
- Take wins where you can get them. A forfeit is still a win. We are 1-1 right now because we showed up last week, and they didn’t. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
- Take everyone out to the ball field. We had alternates on alternates for last night’s game. Mostly because there is truly no better way to spend a Thursday night, but also because we have serious fan dedication. Without Macon DJing the game, or the rest of the Blue Hose backing us, our field-cred would have been non-existent.
- Temporarily putting the names of teammates in your phone as “Kickball + First name” will only double your work when you become real friends and want actual names.
- Loyalty is surprisingly an easy thing to build in athletic situations. While we have only known our teammates for about 6 hours, I feel confident that it would be game over if an opponent decided to get aggressive. Teamwork makes the dream work.
- You can wear whatever you want. Neon pink spandex, hydration packs and colorful bandanas are all fair game and completely socially acceptable. I know, it’s like an alternate universe.
As for the team who beat us last night, we will see you at the championship.