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It’s just a game!

Can we talk about recreational sports for a minute? You do know, if you’re not a pro… it’s just a game! Right?

In the past week, I have had some free time and been playing quite a bit of Pickleball. I understand, when you are participating in rec sports you are going to get all different levels of play.

I have no problem playing with beginners, intermediate (my level), advanced, or even pro players. In fact, I enjoy playing with people with a little higher skill levels, it challenges me to be better. I’m happy to play with beginners, as well. I was a beginner once. We need to include them in higher levels of play to challenge them too.

The issue I have had recently is that some people take rec sports too seriously.

The other night I was playing with a guy I had never met. We were getting beat by two guys I have played with before. They are better than I am, but I’ve beat them before. It’s not impossible. All four players were making their share of good shots and poor shots. When I miss-hit a ball, or hit it into the net, I usually chuckle. I mean whattaya gonna do? Get mad about it? Nah. My partner turns to me and says, “I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself, but I’d like to beat these guys.” I thought that was pretty bold to say to a total stranger. Yeah, we lost and he wasn’t happy. Seriously? It’s just a game!

Another day, I was playing with 2 people I knew, and one I didn’t. Well, this guy was a “slammer.” Every time he hit the ball it was as hard and fast as he could make it, right at one of his opponents. After he did that at me a few times, I was able to get back a few short angle shots that he couldn’t get to. (Slam them at ME will ya?!) So then he started slamming them at my partner. She turned away every time and just tried to get out of the way. Yeah, we lost and he was very proud of himself. Seriously? It’s just a game!

Kids rec sports? Oh, don’t even get me started about how obnoxious some parents can be over KIDS games.

Competitive nature? Sure I like to win, but I’m not a rude, overly zealous player. It’s not really fun to play with people who take themselves, or the game, too seriously. I suppose they may consider me rude when I remind them, “We’re not getting paid the big bucks. It’s just a game.”

If these players sound like you, it’s time to relax and remember… it’s recreational sports, it’s supposed to be fun.
Play to win, but more importantly… enjoy yourself. It’s just a game.

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