Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: Picked Last in Sports

I never was.

10 out of 10

... Ok, I have more. The simple fact is that I always hear negativity being cast upon being picked last. When I was in grade school, I never had the luxury. Once or twice it came down to me being in the last few, but even that was a rarity. I was big for my age; bulky, tall. I might as well have been wearing a giant flashing neon sign that declared PICK ME!!

Though now that I think about it, that would make for a pretty cool shirt...

When recess came around, I tried to interest everyone in doing non-sports related activities. It's not that I didn't like sports, I've always been more than a little competitive, it's just that I didn't like the expectations. Being picked first comes with a lot of baggage that you last picks don't know. There's pressure in living up to that choice. Pressure to be that much better than the rest. Show me a third grader who's a foot taller than the rest and I'll show you an 8 year old who's already learning about ulcers.

Then there's the issue of leadership. Suppose you don't want to lead. Maybe following just happens to better suit your lifestyle. Being picked early means that others are going to look to you to provide them support. Which means you had better know the rules cold, cause you'll be expected to pass along the information to those in the middle ranks. Not even the captains picking teams have that much pressure. The times I was actually captain I learned what every other manager in the world already knows; the art of delegation.

As far as I can see, the only real pressure that comes with being picked last, is in how to maintain your low ranking. Since nothing is expected of the last picks, any quality at all is judged as fantastic. Go too far and like that (imagine me snapping here) your potential has taken you into the proverbial major leagues.

And all you wanted to do was kill time before class resumed.

So let no aspersions be cast upon being picked last. It is something to be treasured; to be prized. Unless of course your profession happens to be sports related, in which case you might want to disregard certain portions of this article.


  1. I like this post.

    I really do.

    Here, here!


    (Can you tell I was one of those who was always picked last?)

  2. If you have to choose between getting picked first or don't want to be picked last.
    getting picked last means:

    nobody likes you
    you suck at that sport
    you have cooties

    Whenever I was doing the picking, I always chose the obvious last pick sooner, just to cut them a break.

  3. the thing that i hated about being picked last was that the picker would seem angry at me, as if it were my fault that he was stuck with me. blame the victim!

  4. To tell you guys the truth I was generally picked last in sports. I just sometimes like to write things from the opposite side of the argument for fun.

  5. I was always somewhere in the middle.
    Yeah, I wouldn't pass this around to the hopefuls during the football draft. Unless that person is a kicker.

  6. Even if you were "generally picked last in sports," it was really helpful to read the 'opposing view' thirty years after surviving those being-picked-last years.
    Thanks for this!

  7. Pat nailed it. I was always picked last. Because...
    Nobody liked me
    I sucked at ALL sports.

    That's fine with me, I also pretty much hate all sports...

  8. I was often picked last. Once I wasn't picked at all, which I wish had happened more often.

    I was, am, and ever will be, really bad at sports. The thing I was best at was pitching softball, which is not really a skill.

  9. I was never picked last so I have no idea what you are talking about. I led a charmed picking-sides life!

  10. I was picked last frequently - for sports. Might have had something to do with the fact that I MIGHT have scored goals into my own net and cheered. Just might.

    (Always picked first for spelling rounds and debates, though, so I wasn't a total loser. HA.)

  11. I was always picked SECOND TO LAST. Do you mind doing a post on that next, TS? Thanks.
    I was the worst (and smallest, which kinda goes with being the worst) athlete in class. However, I was also always more likeable than the person who was second to worst. It was a thrill to not be the very last reject.

  12. I was usually in the middle of the group - I only remember being picked last one time, and I don't think I was all that upset about it. I had a good case of existential angst working by third grade so I rarely had time to do anything other than navel gazing - I could be counted on to look up and kick/pass/spike the ball ever so often so it kept me from picked last status.

    I appreciate the pressure you shouldered as a picked firster, TS. Good man.

  13. Amen brother. Kickball scarred me for life.

  14. I always act crazy so they pick me first assuming that I will put that much crazy effort into the game or task which I rarely do - but how could they know that.

  15. I like how neurotic you are.

    Middle of the group is best IMO.

  16. Sounds the making of an interesting movie. Can I purchase the rights from you?

  17. Being picked last totally means you get the greatest cheers and pats on the back when you come through with the game winning shots!


Related Posts with Thumbnails