I would label myself as an “average” athlete. I grew up playing hockey and baseball and running cross country. I was mildly gifted at sports but never excelled. During my senior year of high school I was on junior varsity for all three sports.
I was done with competitive sports after high school and only play them for fun as an adult. Part of me wishes I possessed more natural sports talent but that’s not really something I can control. Plus I’ve made a discovery that makes me thankful for my mediocre athletic abilities.
I have realized that being an average athlete as a full-grown adult allows me to play sports with middle school students without looking like a jerk. We’ve all seen adults try way too hard playing sports with or against kids and they make fools of themselves by totally demolishing their younger, smaller, and less experienced competitors. I’m not an awesome athlete so I’d never be able to do that.
Me playing my best against middle schoolers is about the same talent level as a gifted middle school athlete. So I can try my best when I’m playing sports against students and mostly fit right in with them. So whether we’re playing dodgeball, basketball, frisbee, touch football, or something else I can be all in and not totally dominate.
Have you lost a step or gained a few pounds as an adult? Or were you never a great athlete? It’s okay if your body is not what it once was. It’s okay if you were never good at sports.
Just don’t use those as excuses to not play with middle schoolers. Your decreased athletic abilities mean you’ll fit right in when playing with students! Middle schoolers are the perfect competition for average adults. Our decreasing abilities and their increasing abilities are equal for a few short years.
Playing sports with middle school boys is an awesome way to build connections with them. Make sure to do it while you can because once boys hit their growth spurt and get to high school it can be difficult for us adults to keep up!