1. When anyone, anywhere EVER says “Here, catch this!”
The mild panic that sets in anytime someone says this is actually ridiculous. Why couldn’t they opt for a traditional hand-to-hand transfer? Why did they have to be all fancy and throw it to you? Now you’re both just going to spend more time waiting as you run around frantically trying to search for said object you failed to catch. And on the rare occasion that you do manage to catch it, you spend the next half hour trying to contain the explosive joy you feel. Way to go, you pretend athlete.
2. “Friendly” matches
These matches are anything but friendly and everybody knows it. Your teammates get super competitive and risk their lives for a tiny ball and you, unaffected bystander/uninterested player, always end up caught in the crossfire. Retreat when you can.
3. Volunteering to be goalkeeper
So you make the assumption that the other team is going to suck and you’re not going to receive any sporting action flying your way. Wrong. You think that being goalie can’t be half as bad or challenging as getting all up in everybody’s grill when you attack or defend. Wrong again. Bruised in both body and spirit, you learn very quickly that the goal keeping position is not the place to be.
4. Having your PE teacher forget you were in their class
If there’s any way to know that your athletic skills are truly unremarkable, this is it. In elementary school, my PE teacher stopped me mid-jogging exercise to ask me if I was in her class because she didn’t recognize me. Oh no no, I just habitually decide to crash gym classes for fun. (This was halfway through the school year, by the way.)
5. Getting hit on the head
For some strange reason, your hands and feet never seem to get hold of the ball but your head is some sort of insane magnet. Even when you’re trying to stay at the sidelines of the game or minding your own business, a flying ball emerges out of nowhere to thump you straight on the head. Basketballs, volleyballs, tennis balls, cricket balls of the world, what have I ever done to you?
6. Letting your team down
This is always the worst part. You really want to help catch the ball and pass it or something but your lack of coordination skills and sporting aggression means you never quite know how. Your mind’s all LeBron but your moves are still, umm, very much you. If you have nice teammates who understand your unfortunate situation, they’ll try to get you involved in the game somehow. Even it’s a pity pass, I’ll take it!
7. Remembering your every shining sporting moment with much fondness
You can count on one hand, every successful catch, bat or throw. So what if it was sheer chance? In these rare but spectacular moments, you were sort of great on the field. You did something.
8. Becoming the official ‘hype’ person
You know you’re not the greatest at all that sports stuff, so when you have to play, you learn how to contribute in every other way possible. In every game, I just kind of ran where everybody was running and made a lot of noise. I cheered when we won and I yelled words of encouragement when we lost. I became the self-appointed cheer captain of my teams.
9. Learning to walk it off
Sure, sports may seem like a big deal when you’re in school. But not excelling in the world of athleticism isn’t exactly the end of the world. It’s going to come to a point where you’re going to have to shrug it off and have fun. Fall down on your face, miss a catch, throw something backwards, run as slowly as you want, cheer excessively, and be sure to laugh it all off.