So, yesterday I played with a new team for the first time. I know most of these guys from other leagues, but some of them I don't know at all. It was really fun to play with them because they all have good attitudes. They want to win, but winning isn't everything. They supported each other no matter what...and that's the point!
In baseball, a batting average of 300 is quite good, but in slo-pitch a batting average of 300 is terrible. You need to bat somewhere around 600 in competitive men's ball. This may seem easy to those who don't actually play, but it's not. Point: you can't be perfect all the time. You cannot bat 1000. Sometimes you fly out, ground out, or hit a lousy dribbler to the pitcher, and it sucks, but no one will feel worse than the guy who hit that lousy out. And sometimes it is an important at-bat, and it hurts the team if you can't pull through, but as a teammate, you cannot get down on that person for their failure. You need to build them up, tell them it's ok, and that they will get the next one. If you tear them down, you will only hurt that person's confidence and the team's performance.
This team that I am playing with this weekend builds up. They do not tear down. It seems all too often in our modern cyber world that we are very quick and ready to tear down. For a simple example, just go to any forum or comment board and you will find people who do nothing but make negative comments and are hurtful for no other reason than, they can. Go to any YouTube video and you will likely find negative comments about the hard work someone has put into producing a piece of work that they have spent hours creating. Why do they do that? Because they can. My guess is that these types of people have a lot of problems, but I also feel that they have not learned to respect others. Sports can help you learn that respect. And respect doesn't have to mean you like them, or agree with them, but you respect their efforts and abilities for what they are.
Team sports can teach us to be good teammates, build people up, and not tear them down, help them reach their potential while they help us reach ours.