We used to play punch
when I was a kid in the early 1970s. Punch-ball is like bat
. You toss the ball up with one hand and punch the ball as hard as you can with the other, then run bases.
When I started going to the school, I didn't know anybody. Nobody wanted to pick the new kid. I ended up getting picked last. Unfortunately, I just sucked at punch-ball. I could barely get the ball out of the infield, and at best I made it to first base (I could run fast). So, with the double-onus of being new and sucking severely at the sport, I was either picked last (they needed to fill out the team) or I wasn't picked at all (they had enough kids).
One thing I had on my side was that I read a lot, and in my reading I learned to analyze and research. I broke down how I hit the ball, and analyzed it using what I learned from some (low-level) physics books I had recently read. I would toss the ball up with my left hand and basically push the ball away. I then watched the best player, and saw that he tossed the ball a little further away and swung his whole arm in an arc. He was able to get momentum and power, where I was just pushing the ball away from my body.
I spent a week working on adopting the form of the good player. It took a bit before I could get the timing down (it's like learning to serve in tennis with your other hand). I finally got it down, and the next Monday I showed up to play. Luckily, they needed the extra body, so I again was picked last.
My first time up, I hit the ball using my old method. I actually made it to first base. I did this to remind the players that they could move in when it was my turn to swing.
The next time I was up, they all moved in for the easy out. I used the new form, and I whomped the shit out of the ball. It went over all of their heads, and I made it home. The next three times I swung, I made it to third base or home. Since I was bigger than all but two of the players, I had more power in my swing.
From that day forward, I was either the first or second kid chosen. When new kids showed up, I passed on my technique.
If you don't want to be picked last, sometimes you can do something about it.