Posted by: Admin | August 10, 2009

Dodge Ball & My Life

It’s probably not news to any of you that Dodge Ball was banned as a “sport” in many school systems.  There have even been lawsuits from parents who feel that dodge ball is not suitable for children.  Click here to read the  USA Today Article.  While I certainly understand the need to protect our children, I personally feel that Dodge Ball played a positive role in my development and this training has served me well in my adult years.  We shouldn’t always coddle our kids, we should teach them life skills and Dodge Ball, at least for me, was a positive life experience. 


I feel that I learned at least 3 valuable lessons from this sport: 


Dodge Ball is all about team work.  If you rely solely on yourself and your own individual ability you will likely be unsuccessful.  Which, I might add has many parallels to life.  Developing social skills, working in groups, and sharing & celebrating a common goal are all things that serve you well in every part of your life.

One of the objects of the game is to “catch” a ball thrown at you.   Isn’t the strategy of dodging & weaving a metaphor for life?  Don’t let anyone or anything “take you out”.  Stand strong, work together and “catch” or “dodge” any ball that’s thrown at you?   How many times in life have you been thrown a “curve ball”.  From where I sit, you have 3 choices:  Move out of the way of that ball, catch it, take a moment to collect yourself, and throw it back, or just stand there and let it hit you.   As someone who was just laid off, I don’t view myself as that kid who got hit by the ball, but rather the one who caught it and is taking moment to form my strategy to throw it back.

Sometimes you fall or get “hit”.  Obviously the ultimate goal to win dodge ball is to “hit” your opponent with the ball.  Now, some people may call this “warlike” but I prefer to call it real life.  Let’s be honest here, many times in life you will be up against an opponent and you need to form a strategy and throw your ball.  In order for you to succeed, you need to follow the rules of the game and make decisions that will serve you best.  Take interviewing as an example… “throwing a ball at them” may be too literal an example since I certainly don’t need to bash or injure anyone with a ball but, I do need to play by the rules, show my strengths, and illustrate why I am better suited for the job.   If I get hit before I throw my own ball I may never get a job offer.  And, if I fall down and skin my knee in the process then guess what, I’ll get back up, dust myself off and pick up another ball.

As for these frivolous lawsuits… well, I can think of other plenty of other ridiculous reasons I could have sued my elementary school.  However, these “mishaps” made me who I am, and I have the scars to prove it.. I certainly wouldn’t want someone to take this learning away from me!


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