Outside during the school day, students are giddily getting their kickball teams together.
The teams actually train, practice and wear matching outfits while learning the “perfect spin” at which to pitch the dodgeball. Oftentimes you can see teams huddled around the backfield with snacks like Gatorade or pizza.
No, this isn’t elementary school, this is high school kickball. And for the past two years I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of one of the best kickball teams in history, and never in my life have I been part of something so intense.
The tournament was instated only two years ago but has already grown into the second most popular tournament at the school, behind dodgeball. Fifteen teams at the back of the school line up to try to take down my team.
We chose the team not days, not weeks, but months in advance, and we never fail to have matching T-shirts. Formerly the “Quail Hunters,” we’ve developed a more mature serious name to match how seriously we need to be taken; “Turf-Stomper Ankle Breakers.”
Hundreds of messages have gone back and forth on Facebook and, yes, certain members of the 11-man team have literally trained to ensure back-to-back finals appearances.
We’ve destroyed teams and only lost once, and this year, watch out because we’re looking for vengeance with our newly bolstered team.
The key to our success? Well, our in-game strategy is something I won’t divulge, but if you take the time to revert back to your elementary school roots and competitive spirit, you might learn a thing or two.
The elementary school determination and love of the game is what will bring success. Don’t be afraid to make diving plays, kick it far or take the risky bunt. Don’t overlook pitching or catching, and find 11 players who are willing to go kickballs-out.
It’s also really helpful to make sure every player on the team knows the rules of baseball. (It’s embarrassing to strike-out in kickball or forget to tag-up.)
Winning kickball, or any ASB-sponsored tournament, will bring just as much pride to a senior as it will to a sixth grader. But to win, 18-year-olds need to be proud to release that little 8-year-old self.