Learning a New Sport? Stick With it!

Long-time readers know that I took up softball a couple years ago and it didn’t exactly go very well. I fell and scraped my leg at my first game, a couple years later I tripped and got a bloody nose,  I missed every ball that came my was.  I frustrated a lot of team mates, Ryan, and myself but I stuck with it because I was determined to have a sport again.

Two of my friends Lisa & Michelle  started playing around the same time as me and we all struggled to get the hang of the sport but this year something finally clicked and we started catching better, hitting well, and making smarter plays.

At our league tournament a few months ago we talked about how much we improved because of our sheer determination and refusal to quit. We all put up with a lot of flak from team mates and frustration but we persevered. I’m not saying we are now top players but we can hold our own now.

Lisa and I! :)

Lisa and I! 🙂

Are you trying to curl but keep falling while you sweep? Or did you join a golf or softball league and feel like the worst player ever? Here are some tips for sticking to it and persevering:

Have a Cheerleader

I would never have stuck with softball if I didn’t have Ryan there encouraging me and telling me to relax and ignore mistakes.  There were times I knew he was frustrated but he always tried to stay positive which made it easier for me to stick with it.

My cheerleader. :)

My cheerleader. 🙂

Buy the Equipment

Maybe it’s a girl thing, but don’t you feel more like an athlete when you have the gear? You don’t have to go out and spend hundreds on equipment, but getting your own stuff not only makes you feel like you belong but now you’re financially invested in the sport.

Practice privately

When you are trying to learn a team sport, there is no worse feeling than letting your teammates down. Practice on your own with a few trusted friends so the pressure is off.

Don’t Be Competitive

Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely competitive. So being in a competition of any sort and not performing well made me so angry! You can’t think like that, you’re in a rec sport having fun with your friends. Tell that competitive demon to go away.

Set a Goal for Yourself

Maybe you want to learn to spike in your adult rec volleyball league. Or you want to be able to do some fancy move in tennis. Just like running and working out, setting goals give you a laser like focus anmd an achievement to work toward. Once you achieve that goal, you’ll feel like a million bucks.

Have Fun

I didn’t have fun playing softball until my third year of playing. I enjoyed the socializing part, but actually playing was so stressful, I would get butterflies in my stomach when I was up to bat. But in that third year when I relaxed a little and had fun it made the experience so much better.

 

Softball ladies!

Softball ladies!

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