Are you 'experienced'? Team sports and you.

One could argue that my background in sports isn't entirely in team sports.  I grew up playing sports that most wholesome Midwestern boys played: football, basketball, baseball, swimming and soccer.  My football career was stunted by a broken collar bone the day before tryouts my freshman year, but I still managed to play well into my senior year - much to my mom's chagrin after a mind-rattling concussion 2 years later.

My baseball career came to an end after high school as well since Columbia University's baseball stadium was 100 blocks to the north, and I wasn't sure I'd want to play catcher for the rest of my life.

But swimming stuck with me all the way through high school, college and shortly afterwards as I put forth my best effort at Olympic Trials in 2000.  I was fortunate enough to train with some of the best swimmers in the world, and was proud to say I was part of a team that sent 5 swimmers to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

But that's my point.  I was on the team, made some great friends, and had others to help me through training, but its only the individual that makes it to the Olympics.  And only then do they join ANOTHER team.  The "team" is a combination of everyone's best individual efforts, and those individual efforts usually happen in separate events or heats, not simultaneously - like football or basketball.

A former teammate of mine from the Irvine Novaquatics commented on my last post about only experiencing sports to its fullest, which is what got me thinking about this again.  Morgan made the case that some of her best stand up paddle experiences were solitary.  She might have been hanging out with her friends before or after her session, but while she was "in it", it was just her and the ocean.

There certainly is something to be said for that solitary pursuit and feeling of accomplishment in anything you do.  And I agree with Morgan on many aspects.  I mean, it's all about ME when I'm swimming because no one else is gonna move me through the water, right?  I guess it comes down to a balance - as everything does in life.

So if you need some time alone today, take it.  If you need someone to hang with or motivate you, it's easy to find it with us here.

Is Surfing a Pickup Sport?

If you're lucky enough to live in the Bay Area, you've been lucky enough to appreciate some of the unseasonably gorgeous weather we've been having recently.  Those of us inclined to brave the cold water in search of a nice ride found last weekend particularly special.  The waves were decent, the sun was strong and it was a great time out surfing.

 

But it got my surf buddy and I talking about the camaraderie and fellowship of surfers along the coast.  For the most part, surfers are pretty chill and accepting of beginners and visitors - because we've all been there.  But why can't surfing be a pickup sport?

It's more fun when you're with a few buddies or betties, and as many Ocean Beach surfers can attest, it's not always safe to be out by yourself.  So we figured surfing is another great sport that we can tell people about on Pickup Sports.  Just like other games on the Pickup Sports app, it passes the following criteria:

1) You can partake alone (but it's more fun with at least one other person)

2) Location is very important (since good surf breaks are found in many places)

3) If you're new to the area or sport, some local input is invaluable!

Let us know what you think, and if you're out to hang ten or thrash the lip, don't go it alone!