Is there something you feel you could be better at?  Do you have skills you would like to improve on?

Due to the current staggered school start times, my son and I have a fair bit of time to kill between the Girls in red and white kits playing football. How are your skills?other half of the family leaving the house and us needing to.  My aim is to have screens off and to do something together.  His aim is to get me to play “Headers”.

As it has been pretty chilly in the mornings recently, I’m not doing it outside.  No, no, no.  There’s also the descent into trying to defend myself against a vicious, hard ball.  Indoor football all the way for me, thanks.  And (so far) we’ve only broken one wine glass whilst playing.  I’ll take that to protect the health of my shins.


Realising there’s something to improve

Netball chained up. How are your skills?
Accidental symbol of my distress at a lack of netball during lockdown

Anyway, my son was impressed with my ability to stop him scoring.  I did remind him that I play netball, and that “Headers” was keeping me sane while all community sport is off.  It got me thinking about one of the skills I have been trying to improve when I play netball: that of interception.  To those who are un-netballed, it is  “when a player regains possession of the ball during a pass by the opposition“.  Someone is throwing, and you get the ball as it is passed to another player.  My aim is one a match.  Even to “tip” the ball – knock it away from the player receiving it – counts, in my book.

Yes, I’ve done the drills.  In fact, I’m quite good at doing it during a training session.  I know how the theory works.  Plenty of YouTube Australia vs New Zealand matches have shown me what to do.  It is just doing it that is the problem.

Recognising that my skills are not all bad

I’m not useless at defence.  My tactic is to stay close to the person I am marking so that no-one passes Sports courts on a field. How are your skills?them the ball.  And it’s not a bad tactic!  Many times have I annoyed the opposing Wing Defence by being like a piece of blu tack all match.  It doesn’t, however, create an opportunity for my team to send the ball back up the court.  But we are all different, and the team-mates who are amazing at intercepting may wish that they could develop skills in other areas.

There are things we all want to improve on in life.  The way we interact with people can often do with some work.  I know that I have been a bit “shouty” over the past week or so.  I also know that this is down to some heavy-duty medication I’m taking at the moment, but it does not excuse my behaviour entirely.  Or, rather, if I can’t control my shouting, I can work at recognising when this hasn’t been appropriate.  And then I can apologise to the family members who have borne the brunt.  (Apparently, my son is getting off lightly.  Perhaps this is due to his compliments during “Headers”?)

Being prepared to try

Recognising the need to change is the key.  Being willing to change, and accepting that change can be difficult are all parts of the process we go through.  We are all different, and if we were not, the world would be such a boring place!  The theologian and philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg tells us: “Every unity has its existence from diversity, for a unity that is not the result of diversity is not anything; it has no form and therefore no quality.”  Heaven and Hell 56

There’s no point in me constantly kicking myself for missing an interception opportunity.  I can work on improving, but, let’s face it, I’m never going to play for England.  I may also never be as patient as other people.  Rather than berating myself, I can try.  And try again.  And recognise when I have improved – even if it is only a tiny bit.

For those of us who are religious, we can ask the Lord for help.  He is always ready to work with us, whenever we acknowledge we need it.

*Edit – we only use a very soft ball when playing “Headers”.  Thanks for your concern, commentors!

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  1. Whilst it is important to recognise, realise and being prepared to try, we also need to have the willpower to give it our best effort.

    As for praticing headers in England there is more of a push to not ban heading of footballs, but to restrict young players from heading the ball, due to the increasing number of former players in their 60s, 70s and 80s suffering from dementia, which has been recently reported in the media.

    1. Agreed, Ben. One of the reasons I am prepared to play “Headers” inside is because there is no chance of the suggestion of a hard ball! It’s a beautifully soft one that we use

    2. I think it’s important to be open minded and accepting of people of all races and religions in today’s society. I like the way you have encorporated your religion into this without it being forced. As someone who is not religious I appreciate it. We all definitely need to try things we may not succeed in or be the best at

      1. Thanks, Melissa. Religion is not for everyone but I think we can work from similar principles at times, whether we are religious or not

  2. It is so important to be accepting of change and when it is hard to change, I teach my kids the power of prayer and we often ask the Lord for help and guidance

  3. I’m glad you’re “shouty” at others too! I bet you’re scary on the the netball court!?

    1. I hope you mean that you are glad I’m shouty, like you are, rather than you’re glad I’m shouty at people other than you!!! And I’m pussycat on the netball court – honest 🙂

  4. I definitely think there are some skills that I can build upon. We definitely need to recognise the need for change in order to build upon those skills

  5. I think it’s so important to try things because you change over time and what you may not be great at at one point, you might develop skills for later on x

    1. I think we can lead by example. Apologising to my daughter after I shouted seemed to help her see we are all human. She’s quite shouty, too, at the moment!

  6. We are all constantly learning and developing and I definitely recognise what I am not good at so that I can work on it – I am never going to be an accomplished sportswoman though

    1. Believe me, I’m more in the “enthusiastic”, rather than the “accomplished” range 🙂

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