How to REALLY win at a social sport

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My action cricket team – team ROFL – recently walked away with the hotly contested Spirit Cup at Montague Arena’s annual Action Cricket Extreme Cup for the fourth time in a row! What’s the secret to our streak? Keep reading.

I have long been an advocate of social sport and the cathartic role it can play in the life of the modern man. It’s a great excuse to escape the rat race, talk some smack, have a few drinks, do some exercise and I would strongly recommend taking one up.

My social sport of choice is action cricket.

Over the weekend, Montague Arena played host to their annual tournament which pits 8 teams against each other in a round robin format until 3 teams emerge as gold, silver and bronze winners. The tournament runs over the course of a long weekend with a couple of games sprinkled out over the period.

Team ROFL has entered a team for the last 4 years but I played my first tourney in 2015. That year, our stats read; played 7 – won 0. This year? Well this year, we only won 2 games.

But that’s not important.

That’s not why we enter.

For us it’s all about the gees.

This seems to be where we excel; having won the spirit cup every year for the last 4 years. How do we do it? A couple of things really help.

1. Kit

Every year we get new shirts. This year, however, was slightly different in that not only did we procure new kit – we also had a braai a week before to hand them out. This really got the spirit going early.

2. Beer

The great thing about the tournament is that you have plenty of “rest” time between matches. While some teams use this time to practice in an empty net or strategise – team ROFL usually heads to the bar for a few “liquid crickets”. Over the weekend, Montague Arena sold a 2L jug of Castle Draught for R80 which really helped. #Winning

3. Support

ROFL is abundantly blessed with wives, girlfriends and other non cricket playing folk who are only too happy to pack the supporter seats and scream ROOOOOOFLL! which really helps with concentration and on field spirit.

4. Memorable moments

7 cricket matches and many a beverage shared is sure to create a few moments that we won’t soon forget. But to show that you have the spirit, yes you do – it’s important that you and your team share a few memorable moments.

For example, Kris our skipper and backstop, flinging himself about like a gazelle, taking a few blinders and making a few inspirational stops is always a sight to behold.

Then there is Britsy, not even a full time ROFLer yet, via sheer bowling skill – managed to find himself at the top of the ROFL pile. Good on you, son!

Another memory that jumps to mind is when Jono, strike bowler and part time fielder, better known as “El Diablo” needed a 7 off the last ball… but got bowled instead. Not to worry, El Dragon – you’ll get them next time.

Nothing brings a crowd to life like a (near) fight. So, when this writer maintained his right of way after a delicate stroke to the offside, and collided with an opponent – said opponent took exception and wanted to throw down fisticuffs. Luckily, nothing came of it but the story was retold all throughout the weekend.

5. Being there for a good time, not a long time

Lastly, it’s important that you don’t take yourself too seriously – team ROFL knows this better than anyone. We have struck the perfect balance between having fun and playing some good cricket, but, if at the end of the day the cricket suffers – the fun and he memories always makes up for it.

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There you have it, 5 ingredients to winning back to back spirit cups. Follow the above guide and you can do it too.

Do you play social sports? What’s your team’s gees like? As always, we’d love to hear from you so hit us with a comment or a tweet @leftbacks and let’s get the party started!

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