For people who are afraid of everything
1. Familiarize yourself with the equipment
Take a look around and get an idea of what you’ll be defending yourself from. In most cases, you’ll be working with a basketball, soccer ball, football or baseball. There are other scenarios, obviously, but most people won’t casually ask someone to play a game of tennis or croquet. Basketballs, soccer balls and footballs look scary but they have a slight bounce to them. This means you’ll probably survive if you get in in the face with one. Baseballs are harder and more compact, but much smaller, so your chance of getting hit is less likely. On the off chance you’re playing with a boomerang, god have mercy on your soul.
2. Practice your blocking techniques
Look around for any possible protective gear and bulk up. Use a helmet, shin guards, groin cup, suit of armor or whatever else you can find. Next, work on protecting any exposed areas. Pulling your forearms together creates a strong cover for your face. For other areas of the body, try curling up into a ball. Like an armadillo, use your back to shield your vital organs from incoming attacks.
3. Avoid the ball at all costs
This is the big one. Wherever the action is happening on the field, stay on the other side of the field. If you see the ball flying towards you, dodge quickly. If you’re playing soccer, run around the ball and let it go to whoever’s behind you. A similar principle applies to basketball. If someone passes to you, twist your body around or jump out of the way. In a game of football, just hit the ground if you see the ball coming towards you. Remember the blocking techniques from the last tip. If the ball just flew way up into the air and you don’t know where it’s going to land, just run around in circles before curling up and praying that it doesn’t hit you.
If by some chance you do have the ball in your hands, get rid of it immediately. Do not panic, just throw it away. This is crucial when playing football, a sport that revolves around crushing whoever has the ball at any moment. When you receive the ball, try to throw it back to the person who passed it to you like a game of hot potato. If there are no teammates in sight or you don’t know what team you’re on, just throw it towards either end of the field. It doesn’t matter where. If you can’t do this, just drop the ball and run home. Once home, you can pat yourself on the back for a successful day of sports.
Will Cohan is a third-year cinema and photography major who likes to exercise by running away from things. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.