This I Believe

Ryan - North Wales, Pennsylvania
Entered on October 17, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“I believe in dodge ball”

At its grit and grimy core, dodge ball is competition. One human being verses another. I believe in dodge ball as much as math, history, science, and any other class in school. It teaches kids to win and to lose in a controlled fun based environment. I believe in schools playing dodge ball and other competitive sports. To me, dodge ball is as an important experience that every kid should enjoy, feel, and even hate at some points.

I believe in using the hard, rubber, playground balls that leave a mark instead of the softer foam balls schools commonly use today. The balls that have ump and you knew when you hit someone. I believe in playing the grey. Seeing how far you can go without getting in trouble, stepping over the line to get the other team’s ball, going for head shots, and even playing off the unseen hit. It’s all part of the game.

I believe in picking teams with captains. It’s not fair, what is? I’ve always been the smallest kid, but that doesn’t mean I was picked last. Picking teams can be a confidence booster, and a downer. But I learned to use these emotions as fuel in the game, which only made me better.

I believe dodge ball is a mini society, it teaches kids to accept that some are bigger, some are stronger, and some are faster, but that doesn’t mean they always win. Each person can have a job. There are the fast, fearless runners who go and get the balls for the other kids. There are the hitters, who stick to the mid section and peg as many kids as they want. There’s the catchers, who protect the jail and get the small eliminations that make a difference in the final outcome. I believe each individual person has an effect on the game, their actions orbiting around each other in an effort to win, just like in real life. Sometimes the smallest kid can throw the tiniest ball, and barley hit the best kid on the floor. I believe in the luck of dodge ball.

I believe that if you don’t have the natural instinct to win in dodge ball, you won’t have that instinct in any other sport. The kids who evolve, who think faster than the others, and just become better are the ones who I can see succeeding in a competitive environment. I believe that games like dodge ball fuel America’s spirit, which is in dyer need of drive of competition.

I don’t believe dodge ball will predict who will be the leader in the class, the graduate with the highest GPA, or tell the next Payton Manning. I do believe however, that dodge ball with all its quirks and flaws creates a great way to learn about competition.