I’m on a kickball team this fall. It’s lots of fun and I’m amazed at how popular this is in DC. In my league alone, there are nearly 600 players. There are leagues all around town who all play games on different days. In short, kickball in Washington is HUGE.

We are a new team, and only a few people have played in this league previously. Those who know me will not be surprised that I’m really quite competitive. If I’m competing in something, I’m in it to win. I was brought up playing all types of sports and my family is full of athletic competitors.

This kickball team, however, has been a challenge. There are only a handful of us on the team who are really determined to win. Many just view it as a social gathering – a fun time outdoors and the chance to do something creative on a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps because of that attitude, we haven’t won any games. In fact, after five weeks of playing, it was only this past Sunday that we managed to score our first run.

I’ve found myself having to really bite my tongue and not show my emotions as people drop balls that should have been caught, throw the ball at the wrong plate, take off running when there’s a pop-fly that is caught, and strike out (yes, strike out in kickball?!?!?!).

So, I feel like I’m in the middle of a learning process with this experience. It still is fun (though not as much fun as it would be if we were winning), but I’m trying to practice patience, and I realize that getting upset or annoyed by others’ isn’t going to make the situation any better. I’ve come to realize that with just about anything in life (whether house training a dog, teaching music to adults, or even sitting in traffic). Keep calm and carry on, as the British say. We’re only one-third of the way through the season, so still time for us to improve.