Monday, December 28, 2009

Hidden Ability

I was never a good soccer player. Never played Frisbee nor have I ever touched a floorball stick.

Hence I'm surprised to hear people telling me I played really well today, and the game before - one even remarked that had he known that I do not stay in any of the halls, he would have asked me to join his hall team. Looking back, the past 2 games I played for my faculty were the finest two games of soccer Ive ever played. I was winning aerial challenges, making key through passes, crucial sliding tackles and I even had a one on one situation with the keeper during this morning's game. It missed by inches!! I was taking hits in places a guy never wish to be hit but it was worth it, I think. We lost a game but won the next. We qualified for the quarter finals.

My first brush with Ultimate frisbee began during a picnic. Someone brought a disc. It flew to me. I caught it. I threw it back and it flew pretty smoothly. And when it came back to me, I cheekily tried to do a flick and it flew pretty smoothly too. Friends began asking me for advice and suddenly I'm a pro (almost there though. Haha!).

I decided to up my game by signing up for my faculty's Frisbee team. After intensive analysis of tutorial vids and full games on Youtube, I walked onto the field that afternoon hoping to put to practice whatever I've seen. Only 6 other people came - no substitutes. Everyone never played a proper game before. I somehow became the one that pointed out common mistakes in throwing and catching. We discussed whatever tactics that made sense. Spirits were high. Magic happened. We lost a game but won the next. We qualified for the quarters.

Floorball's a little trickier. It's a highly skilled sport. I didnt manage to watch the whole series of training videos on youtube. So I walked into the hall today, having watched up to vid 2.4 out of 4.5. We managed to hold our opposition to a nil-nil draw at half time. Spirits were high. But we lost focus/lacked experience/didnt know what needs to be changed in the second half - scored 1, conceded 4. Against a team of floorball and hockey players, we definitely did awesome coz we had none! For someone who never touched a floorball stick before (and fyi, the handle grip smells!!), I was guilty of dribbling too much - it feels sooo good to dribble. We lost a game.... but IF the pattern repeats, we'll win tomorrow. (:

The point of this piece isn't about my natural sporting talents. It's about how it's possible to do reasonably well in something totally new. One simply needs to put in the effort - Youtube vids, frisbee throwing sessions - and remind one's self that a part of him believes he can do real well and WANTS to do real well. With soccer though, it's about not wanting to disappoint teammates whom he's never met before prior to the games. It's also about not wanting to make a fool of himself by shying from aerial challenges and tackles. I feel that if one really wants to succeed, one day one will.

It worked with my Magical Realism elective. Now if only I can somehow translate this desire to succeed to my core modules! Fyi, results will be out in a couple of days! Here's hoping I won't be writing a bunch of entries to psychologically tell myself to stay optimistic.

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