What I Learned at Pickup: I Thought it Was September Edition


Yesterday was Lancaster United’s pickup day, and despite the why-is-this-happening-to-meeeeee heat wave that rolled through the midstate, we managed to get six people (eventually) to come on out and play our funny little sport. It certainly wasn’t a day of magical plays and 100% tourney action, but it was fun and exactly what I needed for that mid-week stress relief. So, on to the lessons:

1. Our youngest player doesn’t need coddled: Our youngest guy is 13 years old (or so) and he’s really managed to make himself a great player. He started with us two years ago, but we hadn’t seen him much after we stopped playing in the city. Well, he started coming out to our regular polo grounds now, and it’s obvious he was practicing that whole time. The dude is a legit player, and I’m quite sure he’s going to be the name that people know from Lancaster United in short order.

2. Always let big swingers swing: Due to the nature of a big swinger (the folks who dramatically lift the mallet behind them all the way up to the sky and then sweep it down like they are taking out wheat or doing their best golf player impression), you should always allow them to try for the shot. Why? because you have a good amount of time to shift the ball away from them while they are mid-arc in drawing back or moving forward their mallet. Just the tiniest of taps and you’ve ruined their play. It feels so good to do, to.

3. Know how to swallow your ego: Dave is a guy who, and I don’t think he’d disagree with me hear, isn’t willing to put up with your shit talk. He really doesn’t dig it, is what I mean. Last night during play, he was doing all sorts of fun things that he normally doesn’t do (sharper turns, longer shot, ect.) and had a mix-up with another player.

Well, long story short, his front wheel got a little bent out of shape (though he didn’t), but we only had six folks at the time, so he got a quick fix-up and came back out. This lead to him taking a turn, his wheel wobbling, and him crashing splendorously in front of the goal.

When we asked him if anything was hurt, he laughed and said “just my pride.”

I appreciated that answer, because it did two things: it eliminated our natural inclination to attack (he already admitted the defeat), but it also showed that he was taking it in good spirits. It’s important to recognize when you’ve done something goofy–nobody likes a serious Sam all the time.

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