Who's In First League Management

The Top of the Standings

Monday, December 8, 2008

With A Little Help From My Friends

I have been battling a lingering cold/flu for the past week. It isn’t debilitating enough to take me out for the count, but is bad enough to make me not want to do anything.

The unfortunate part about the entire thing is that I had to skip my recreational basketball game last week, and I was playing against a team made up of friends of mine.

It is always fun to play against your friends, I even thinks it makes me play harder, in my attempt to one-up the guys I know.

According to the stats on Who’s In First, www.whosinfirst.com, my friend’s team should have destroyed us, and as it turns out they did. I kinda figured that might happen, but that didn’t keep me from wanting to drive on them and talk a little trash on the way back down the court.

As we all know, playing against friends is a lot different than playing against strangers. Whether it is in a recreational league, or in the backyard, playing against friends always seems to elevate your game just a little bit more, all while deflating you just a touch more when you lose.

So to give you an advantage against your friends, take the following pieces of advice:

  1. You know these guys – If you have played against, or with, your friends in the past you have an advantage of having a scouting report on them already. Do you know one of your friends can only drive with his right or cannot make a free throw on the basketball court? In softball do you know one of your friends couldn’t field a grounder if his life depended on it? Well, if you know these nuances about your friends, use them. Make him go to the left, or alter your batting stance to make sure the grounder goes right to him (and therefore between his legs).
  1. Talk trash – I am not endorsing trash talking, but with friends you can get away with more than you would be able to get away with people you just met. Casually slip in their girlfriends/wives names as they are shooting free throws. Remind them that they got caught doing something wrong when they were a kid. Anything to get under their skin, but without being TOO harsh. You want to obtain a competitive advantage, but don’t want to lose a friendship.
  1. Don’t let them forget – The other side of trash talking is talking yourself up. If you hit a 3 in their face or take them yard, don’t let them forget it. When you come up to bat the next time, kindly remind them where their last pitch went and step into the box like you mean it. They may not be intimidated, but you might get into their head just enough to gain an advantage.

Remember, at the end of your match you are still going to be their friend, win or lose, so don’t do anything to ruin that, but use your friendship as an advantage. A good way to ensure that it is all left on the court is to plan on going out for a burger or beer after the game. Planning this in advance will make it so that you will both be tied to the plans, regardless of the outcome.

If you have any other tips on using friendship to your advantage on the court or field tell us about it in the comments section.

Keep sporting!
- Who's In First

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