Catch It, Newcomb Style


I thought it was called “Nuke ‘Em” when I was a kid attending summer camp in the 1980s, but it’s actually called “Newcomb,” and I loved when my counselors announced that we were playing it instead of its bigger, burlier brother, “Volleyball.”  Newcomb was easier to play.  It was slower-paced.  It involved less skill.  It allowed me to, even required me to, catch the ball and hold it for a few, slow moments before sending it back over the net.

I can now appreciate this as a way to respond in life.

How many times a day does someone drop, lob, or even spike an expected ball over the net and into my court?

And how often do I react, “Volleyball Style” – hitting the ball back, quickly, and without thought?

(No disrespect to volleyball players intended; your honed instinct and fast action on the court are assets; my blind, habitual reactions are often liabilities).

The next time life sends a ball into my court, my desire is to catch it, “Newcomb Style”.

To first accept the ball, and then to hold it, for at least a few moments. Long enough, perhaps, to see this ball not as a threat, but as an offering, an opportunity, or a teacher.


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