Introverted Ultimate

I don't always play Ultimate...except I do.
ultimate frisbee first training
Introvert's Musings

An Introvert’s Guide To Surviving The First Ultimate Frisbee Training

The Internet claims that as an introvert you might need a survival kit, a party escape plan and so on. What happens when you decide to make a tiny change? Imagine the moment when you decide to leave the comfort of your couch, toss the video game controller or a book into a corner (gently!). What happens when you break into a run or…god forbid! join a training with a team. You’re on a doomed road. You’re done, right? An error message is flashing across your face. The batteries reach their lowest low. You’re entering a whole different world. How to act? What to do? You need a plan!

It’s the unspoken truth of humanity that introverts crave solitude. Sometimes the fast-paced world isn’t so welcoming. No wonder many seek those rare moments of being alone. At times, you may wonder if you’re missing something? Or perhaps there’s a goal you want to accomplish? Change a thing or two, start a new hobby or make an effort. Achieve something. Perhaps you’re one of those introverts who also crave some social interaction? That’s when you emerge from your hiding place and rejoin the world…

The nasty, noisy world is pretty much like a ship you need to learn how to navigate. You may know nothing about it and yet you have to take charge and just do something about it.  My reason for leaving the safety of my hiding place was the need to do some exercise. I’m lazy and I wouldn’t do it alone as I really don’t like running. I needed a wake-up call. A goal. A purpose. 

Even though there’s always a long list of books to read, games to play and songs to write, there’s also a whole world to explore. So, little exercise won’t hurt and you may end up finding something that you’ve been missing. Just like I did. Surprisingly, social interactions were also what I was looking forward to.

10 Tactics To Survive a Team Training

1. Excuses, excuses.

Before you even go anywhere, you need a list of excuses on why you shouldn’t go out. You’re probably a master of excuses. Your friends even pretend that each time you bail on them you have a truly good reason for it. In fact, they’ve learned to live with that. They accept that you may need some time off the social radar. No matter if they know or not, make sure to have a reliable list of excuses.

You may use them later if you don’t like where you’re going! Some ideas to get you started:

  • Your cat’s birthday,
  • A family thing you are forced to attend,
  • A monstrous headache just attacked you,
  • You forgot you had other plans (Netflix marathon, but no one needs to know that),
  • “Because reasons” is a legit excuse for anything,
  • “I do want to go, but I don’t”,
  • Frogs [or insert something you’re afraid of] are jumping in front of your house. Nope. 🙂
  • Blame the weather,
  • The fandom you’re a part of is having a major drama and you need to be there (let’s not get into details),
  • You’ve just listened to someone’s life drama and you’re done with life for a while.

Remember to be an Oscar actor when you say it. If you’re not a master of excuses just say you’re not up for it or ignore your need to stay at home and go. Sometimes it’s the best thing you could do.

Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.

2. Blackmail.

If you’re the less assertive friend (and you probably are) then there’s not much choice. Your day is planned and you’re going to the training. Because that’s going to be so much fun. New people. You awkwardly standing there wondering what to do. A frisbee? What are you even going to do with that, right? What could possibly go wrong…

Luckily for you, Ultimate Frisbee is different from other sports. They don’t exactly want to have you running away. Especially if you’re a girl who could join their mixed team. You’re going to meet a bunch of people and someone is going to even teach you how to throw a frisbee. Just smile and nod your head. Ignore the rage and panic storm inside. It’s just 2 hours with those strangers.

3. Blend in.

It’s a good moment to find camouflage clothing or the cloak of invisibility. You don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself. In fact, wouldn’t you rather become one with the room?

It’d be so much easier to participate if you could get away without being noticed. Especially when you throw the disc at someone’s head. Or when you do the exercise wrong and everyone suddenly pays attention to you. It can’t get any more awkward than that. In a world like that, you may wish to be like Waldo.

4. A fake name.

Remember all those first days at school when you had to introduce yourself? Say something about yourself and your mind went blank? Or when you spontaneously joined some kind of workshops and had to remember everyone’s names? Did you even remember them? I never did and I supposed they never remember those names either, but it’s awkward enough when you have to talk to someone and you realize you don’t know their name. So, how about a fake name? A secret identity? Who’s going to check it anyway? The worst thing that’s going to happen? They’re not going to remember your name anyway and call you something else. Make it awesome.

5. Awkward jokes.

Sometime during the training, there will be a break and everyone’s going to chat about stuff. If you’re just standing there awkwardly you may feel the urge to say something. The next thing you know you’ve blurted out something weird and they’re all raising their eyebrows while questioning your sanity.

Get used to that feeling. If you’re one of those people who say jokes that no one gets then you’re in for quite a ride. You know, if you say something in a serious voice and don’t smile they will think that you really mean it. Some of them. After some time you just stop explaining that you’re joking and live your life. The first time… it’s always awkward.

6. Observe.

Introverts are awesome at observing stuff. We notice stuff which isn’t exactly that obvious. It’s scary how many information we get from just watching the events unfold. While everyone thinks that you’re just being silent you learn the ways of the universe and how the environment around you works. It’s like working out a math equation, a riddle, a thriller plot…

7. Sure, I get it. Not.

Some exercises at Ultimate Frisbee training may be confusing at first. Like…how do you even throw that disc with a forehand? Or why does it matter that you’re doing that forcing thing? What does it even mean? Why can’t you just run everywhere? What are they even screaming when you’re chasing people down the field like a madman, right? It’s good to have all those questions in your head. Questioning is a good skill, especially when your mind doesn’t go blank when you have to start asking. So, when they’re talking the next great tactic you may just ask… when all eyes are turning your way and you delay stuff. Yeah, I get it.

8. Sorry, not sorry.

You threw the frisbee at someone’s head. Tripped them over. Ran into them. The disc was constantly hitting the far away object or wall instead of the person you were practising with… The awkward beginnings, but you can’t help it and you keep apologizing for everything.

It’s actually such a habit that at some point you’re not really sorry anymore. You just wish that disc could just fly straight and not make a trip across the whole gym to end your mortification.

 

9. Don’t you leave me!

Remember your friend? The one who made you come here? It makes sense that they would stick around with you once they made you go. They usually don’t. You’re on your own…

The solution? Ah, easy one. You may just follow them like a lost kitten. They’re not going to appreciate it (you’re not a cat, are you?), but they got you into this. They should expect you may become their shadow at least for the first 2 hours of the training!

If you decide to stick around they may tell you: There will be a day, when you’ll have to go alone.

Oh no.

Are you already burdened with a glorious purpose?

If you survived the training, what are your thoughts? Would you rather run out and never come back or stick around and dare to see what’s next? I knew after the first training that I’m curious enough to give it a shot. It may be awkward, but you can’t hide all your life behind the books and video games. Sometimes it’s good to find a purpose and go after it. It might be becoming healthier, meeting someone new or just spending some time outdoors.

I’ve often heard the saying “Fake it till you make it”. It’s all wrong. It’s a matter of a choice. We all play certain roles in different situations. It’s your decision how you turn your life into something meaningful. Something that makes you happy enough to go out and enjoy the life. Through training, you can meet some new friends, travel a bit and forget about that nasty thing that makes you mad. You don’t really need an escape plan. What you really need is a reason to make you stay grounded in the present. To have fun. A goal. For me, that’s Ultimate.

What doesn’t change? Barely anyone gets my awkward jokes. I can live with that.

1 Comment

  1. Just showing up to training and you’re 80% there. The remaining 20% is all a mix of peer pressure and self-motivation. That’s one of the cool things about joining a team sport versus an individual discipline. You have a whole bunch of teammates to keep you motivated once you’re suited up and joining in on the drills.

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