Competitive Comradery

By Jacob Embuscado

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For the past four years, sports have become an important part of my life, which I don’t see changing any time soon.

As a child, however,  I didn’t particularly enjoy playing sports because I wasn’t always good at catching, throwing or even shooting a basket. Once I went off to college though that changed. I started getting more involved in fun activities outside of academics and studying.

I began to develop friendships through playing sports like football. Currently, I play with a group of friends every weekend: Ricky, Sunni, Eric, Jordan and Zach. Sometimes the people in these recreational games can change. Once I started getting involved in sports, the competitive comradery began to surface alongside it.

Now, I play with an extreme competitive drive that fuels me to help make both my teammates and I better each time we step onto a field or court. My competitive drive works with my friends who I play with regularly. However, it also works outside of the people you know. I’ve found that having a true passion for sports can connect people even if you just met them.

After starting to play pick-up games at Flavet Field with my friends, I decided to go into intramural flag football. When I first started, I didn’t have the confidence in my abilities that I have now.

When my roommate, Jordan, and I first began playing flag football together, not only did playing competitively feel exhilarating, but it helped strengthen our friendship. Since we started, I feel like I’ve learned a lot from him about the sport, which has helped form a stronger bond between us that I may not have found if I didn’t start getting into sports.

However, it isn’t always fun and games. Football, or any sport, can be emotionally grueling. Although sports can build great relationships, they can also make you feel incredibly irritated. Sometimes the passion of the game takes over and frustration settles in. Whether it’s a play that doesn’t go your way or your team loses by a ridiculous amount, your anger can really surface as a result.

Over time I’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff. Jordan would always calm me down when things got heated, which helped tremendously in making sure I kept my composure. What’s wonderful is that some of the people I met when the team was first assembled I’m still friends with today.

Sports can stir up a myriad of feelings such as anger and defeat, but also happiness and triumph, and that’s the beauty in sports. There’s so much more to it than throwing, running and catching. Sports create bonds and give people a window into your true form no matter how raw or competitive it may be.  

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