Happily Ever Zogger

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ZogSports Mission: Bring People Together | Create Highlights | Make A Difference

We always love to hear stories from Zoggers who have lived out the ZogSports mission, like Ann Marie’s…

 

I am so fortunate to benefit from ZogSports’ vision for a better future.

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I joined Hoboken’s ZogSports a year after losing my fiancé to a brain aneurism almost ten years ago. I didn’t know at that time if I could ever be happy again. Everyone I knew was either getting married or married with kids, except me. Widowed at 30, I felt like my old life didn’t fit me anymore. I knew I needed to meet people my age but it is so hard to make friends when you are in your 30’s. I didn’t think I had any particularly interesting hobbies, and was never the athletic type, so I was intimidated easily by sports. Lucky for me to have found ZogSports which offered a variety of organized sports that catered to all skill levels (including the two I joined: kickball and dodgeball). These weekly games kept me out of the house and for lack of better words, saved my life.

It was during my first season as a Zogger where my now husband said he noticed me. We were out celebrating our respective games and exchanged a quick introduction. He told me later that he always looked for me after the games to see if we could meet up again. Four seasons later, the timing seemed right on both our ends and he asked me out. He seemed to know long before I did that we would end up together. Seven years later, We are happily married with our third child on the way this January.

I will always be forever grateful for ZogSports. It changed the trajectory of my life and allowed me to have a happy ending after all.

We couldn’t be happier to have played the role in your life that we did, Ann Marie!  Congratulations to you and your family.

10 Life Lessons You Only Learn From Playing Social Sports

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We all know you’re not just playing in that kickball league just for the fun of it.  You learn something new every day, and you’ll be damned if you don’t expand your mind when you step up to the plate…literally.
10 Life Lessons You Only Learn From Playing Social Sports
1) You probably weren’t as good in gym class
as you thought you were
School Gym Class - Create Meme

2) There are no professional scouts in the stands
Intramurals - The Odyssey Online
3) Always take photos at the beginning of the night
Drunk baby - Know Your Meme

4) Don’t date anyone who yells at referees
Semi Pro

5) You don’t really know your coworkers
until you’ve survived a dodgeball match with them
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6) Don’t give out your number after a game of 105 cup beer pong Drunk Flirting - Meme Center

7) You’re never too old to make new friends
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8) You won’t get judged on your skills, but you will get judged on your team name
Team Name - Meme Generator

9) A game of flip cup can be the solution for ending an age-old rivalry
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10) Playing social sports can make you feel like a super hero Super Hero - Pinterest

 

What life lesson have you learned through playing social sports?
Comment below and let us know!

Capturing ZogSports One Zogger at a Time

Jon Michael Kondrath can be found either playing, refereeing or capturing photos during the ZogSportsLA season. Now he gives Zoggers a glimpse into his life as an ultimate Zogger:jon2

As a youngster in middle school and high school, I always loved playing sports and taking photos. I did both as hobbies and for fun; I didn’t like playing on varsity because it was too competitive and my photos went as far as yearbooks and school papers. After high school, I expected my sporting days were over and I fell out of photography for a time.

Both sports and photography reentered my life several years ago, because of volleyball (finding a pickup game which lead into social sports and attending a USC volleyball game which lead into sports photography). Social sports brought back what I loved about playing sports when I was young, playing a game with friends.

Over the years, I’ve met many great people and good friends through social sports. I’ve played in different leagues and different sports. Some were great for a while and then fell apart, others didn’t feel like the right fit, and some sports I just wasn’t that into the league.

As one of the leagues I was previously in was slowly spiraling downward, I was introduced to Zog in its second season in LA. That season was a trial period, test out this new kid in town and see what it’s made of. I knew what a good social league could be and should be, so I had high expectations.

Although some of my teammates were skeptical of the league, I immediately fell in love with it. New people gathering for sports and for social interaction afterwards, a league that cares about its players and the greater community, and something I hadn’t seen before – photos posted of us playing. I’m used to taking photos for USC and posting those, because they are a big school with athletes who have dedicated their lives to a sport. But, here we are, social sports enthusiasts, with a chance of having a moment of glory captured and forever immortalized. jon3

In my next season, I immediately immersed myself in the league. I joined all four of the sports offered in Los Angeles and became a ref for beach volleyball (because who wouldn’t want to spend more time out on the beach?). During the beach volleyball season, I would bring my camera gear with me on occasion because I would have it for the weekend due to some sporting event I was shooting. I didn’t know who the Zogsports photographer was or if they would show up to our games, so I figured I would take some photos and share them with my teammates and the friends I was making. After posting some on Facebook, the LA General Manager asked if he could post them on the Zog Facebook page. I have no shame in admitting I love to see my photos posted up by others and seen by as many people as possible.

Enter season three with Zog, and I am now taking photos at as many of the games as I can. Some weekends my gear isn’t available or I may be too busy to take photos, but otherwise my camera is out capturing moments of athleticism, victory, and camaraderie. Every weekend, I meet new people who come up to me to say they saw a photo I took of them. Sometimes the comment is about the funny face they are making and to “next time get a photo when I’m looking better.” Other times it’s pure excitement for snapping the lucky moment of a game-winning play. Most of the time it’s to say thank you because they enjoyed looking at the photos. (I have no shame in admitting I love the Facebook likes and the positive comments of perfectly captured action, as well. So keep them coming!)

The reason I love photography, and social sports, is the sharing. Sure I love being complimented on a great photo or a great play on the field. But more importantly, I play sports and take photos for the interaction. Playing sports in a league where people show up and then go home, or only interact with their own team to practice and play in the game, is not fun for me. In a similar fashion, photography would not be enjoyable if I just took the photos and then kept them to myself. It’s the people that make both so precious to me: the people I play with, the people I socialize with on and off the field, and the people that are sharing and enjoying the photos. I am happy to have found ZogSports and its community of players and staff and I am proud to be able to contribute to the growth of the league in Los Angeles.jon1