Failing to win a game: A ‘right of passage’ in Palm Coast rec league
I signed up to be part of an adult men’s basketball team in early May.
We practiced twice a week for nearly a month in preparation for the start of the city of Palm Coast’s adult recreational league on June 4. I was excited despite the fact that I had never played any form of organized basketball in my entire life. I was thrilled to finally get back to a game I’ve barely played since I graduated from college over a year ago. (I used to play pick-up almost every day back then.)
Things haven’t improved by much since then. My team, the Giraffes, is 0-4. After Game 1, we went on to lose 120-23 in our second game, 109-64 in our third game and 75-45 in our fourth game. Simply put, my team — including myself — doesn’t have the stamina to play 40 minutes of basketball. Sure, we can keep most games relatively close for about the first 10 minutes. But by then, the exhausted legs and heavy wheezing start to kick in. Not to mention, some of the teams we play against are loaded with guys with actual talent for the game: former high school players, lower-level college players and wise old heads.
But as I sat on the bench for a quick breather in one of our latest blowouts, a man from another team approached me. He told me not to worry about the score and to just enjoy the game. He went on to share that even he — and most of the other guys in the gym — had been on a zero win team before. For this league, it was a right of passage, he said.
It was comforting — not to say that I’m comfortable with losing. And it helps me to look forward to the rest of the games on our schedule. Not because we might win or lose, but because I get to have fun playing one of my favorite sports with some pretty cool people.