Left-Handers School Experiences Survey Analysis: Sports Challenges

Comments on difficulties with sports

This is the full list of comments people made about the difficulties left-handers have in various sports

All kinds of ball sports
All sports are hard as there is no left handed sports equipment available
All sports feel odd, have to do everything backwards or find my own way of doing things. This is not welcome in team sports.
all sports! especially softball and baseball because lefty mitts are hard to find
All the rest! Tennis especially, as the ball would come from the wrong side
always had to play tennis with back hand only
And hand-to-eye coordination sports (eg. Badminton)
any game with a bat. stand other side to everyone else
any with rackets
Anything with a bat or racket.
archery (righty bows)
Archery in high school. Not enough equipment and the teacher did not know how to teach to use the equipment left handed. We were second class students
archery, golf
archery, rifle shooting,
arm-wrestling (yes, it’s a sport), golf (it’s impossible to find youth lefty golf clubs)
as above, when playing rounders, when I stood up to bat with left hand, opposition would often shout’leftie’ causing fielders to change positions, which could occasionally put me off my game!
Badminton; Karate (did turns “wrong” way and kept crashing into other students; riding – gets off horse on “wrong” side
basket ball, I am right footed, it confuses me
ball games
ball games
baseball and softball
Baseball as a catcher
Baseball is backwards.

Learning to fly fish was crazy. All this 10 & 2 business didn’t make any sense till I reversed the clock in my mind to figure out what the right handers were talking about.

One good thing came out of learning to fly fish. Because of all the knots you learn to tie, at the age of 37, I learned how to tie my shoes properly.
Baseball, golf, because you have to reinterpret any instructions to the opposite hand which puts you behind.
baseball, hitting a base hit you normally get out right away because the ball goes right to first base.
Baseball, I hit right handed and use a right handed mitt.
baseball, left hand-handed gloves are never available. My golf coach screamed “what’s wrong with you, why can’t you just be normal”.
baseball, never got comfy batting, wasn’t sure how. No one to help coach me can’t relate.
Baseball, no righty gloves.
Baseball, softball, tennis. Anything where you hold an instrument in one hand or the other. It is very difficult for right-handed instructors to help you with form.
Baseball, Tennis, tetherball, basketball.
Baseball/ softball

baseball/softball I throw better and catch better with my left
baseball-i catch better using a right handed glove but my throwing left handed is bad
Baseball–scarcity of left-handers’ mitts.
basketball sometimes
Basketball When I was on our school team I used to get the position wrong in holding the ball or to dribble the ball.
Basketball, badminton
basketball, handball… or maybe I’s just me :)
Basketball, shooting the ball properly.
Basketball, softball
Bat and Ball Games
Batting in softball/baseball has always been difficult because pitchers aren’t used to pitching to lefties.
Batting left-handed against right-handed people can be a challenge. After a hit, lefties need to turn around to run towards first base.

Bowling is a wash!
because in volleyball I hit harder with my right hand
Before I had my own baseball glove as a child, I always have to share with the other children. I’d have to catch the ball, drop the glove, throw the ball, retrieve the glove.
being instructed from a righty point of view
Being left-handed made it difficult for both my volleyball and basketball coaches to teach me different skills.
Being taught to bowl by right handers.
Bowlers find it difficult to bowl to you when playing rounders.
Bowling is hard because the only people to teach me how to play are right-handed. But I bowl right-handed too.
Bowling is more difficult because the ball is made for rightys
bowling, golf
bowling.. I don’t know how to bowl left handed… so I adapted and learned right handed and I’ve been excellent at it..but bowling left handed there isn’t a groove in the alley to make it easier…
But it sometimes makes it interesting…
Canoeing, most double paddles have the decalage for feathering the paddle so that the paddle is turned by the right wrist, but one adapts to it. Archery- a lack of left-handed bows
cant say exactly which one
Can’t say-I learned whatever I did on the equipment that was available.
Cause its harder for right handed people to teach a lefty
Coached pre school
could never play baseball, cricket, softball or teaball properly because I was never shown how to stand. and was given a left handed bow, for archery and was never shown how to shot with it because all the instructors were right handed.
couldn’t afford a left handed glove so /i would wear a right handed glove then have to flick it off to throw the ball after /i caught it.
cricket , rounders
cricket and rounders
cricket baseball
cricket because people cant bowl the ball well at you
cycling, because the brake are mostly reversed (for me)
dancing..the majority of things like turns etc. are done on the right side but practiced on both
Did not left-handed golf clubs as a child. As a result I play right-handed.
Did not play many sports due to many being based on the player being right-handed; baseball, golf, bowling, etc…
Discus, javelin etc. others are in the way (especially the teacher who is on the field!)
Ditto above + I’m NOT very sporty
Don’t like being singled out to be shown a different way to the others. I have trouble with tennis and golf.
Don’t really and didn’t really do anything.
During sports classes I always had to switch every movement the teacher explained.
Each year in school we played a unit of hockey in Physical Education P.E. I always was the worst because I didn’t know that you need a different hockey stick so I always messed everything up.
even though I may of been better than a player in a certain position in baseball coaches would play the right-hander because a righty is “supposed” to play there
every single one not previously listed.
everything….see above
Field hockey is strictly a right-handed sport
field hockey, had to hold the stick in my right hand and use those muscles more.
Field Hockey, you are only allowed to shoot right because of the design of the stick and the rules of the game.
Field Hockey. They don’t make left handed sticks. Period. Once because there were so many lefties in my class the teacher got frustrated with us using the sticks backwards she dropped the whole unit.
finding golf clubs
Floor hockey I absolutely hated in school.
floorball, hockey
Football – I play badly on both feet, and I blame being forced to play right-footed.
Football (soccer),badminton,and tennis.
generally I am bad at sports though…
Getting people to bowl in the right place!
golf – getting clubs
Golf – very hard to borrow a set of left-handed clubs, I suppose I should buy some.
Golf & softball
golf and bowling
golf because it was hard to get left handed clubs and being taught in a group of all right handed people
golf because u have to learn a different way to every1 else
golf- I had to get my own clubs as top golf never had the right clubs and I was always the one left to last waiting for them!
golf play both ways!!!
Golf since lefty clubs weren’t available
GOLF!! And pretty much everything else, just because you have to take the gym teachers instructions, and then reverse them.
Golf, scuba diving
Golf, baseball.
Golf, racquet sports – or perhaps it’s my natural lack of ability
golf, softball
golf. Always trying to get left handed clubs.
have to stand differently from others in softball
Have to turn around to run to first base in baseball
high jump.
hockey – can’t hit the ball very well as I want to use the other side of the stick
Hockey – never had left-handed sticks
hockey – there are NO left-handed hockey sticks, I have to play it as if I was a right hander
Hockey and fencing
hockey and la crosse
Hockey because you can’t hold the stick the way you want it to.
hockey due to using right handed sticks
hockey have to be right handed to play, golf as courses are designed for right handed people
Hockey I seem to remember, but that’s a bit vague – I know I hated it (and sports generally!)
hockey is very difficult because I have to adapt to right handers. tennis is also hard because I find myself having to hit backhanded a lot most sports are quite hard to learn because I have to do everything opposite to everyone
Hockey stick when in was in primary school during the sports period
Hockey sticks can only be used one way
hockey was a problem as there was no left handed sticks
Hockey was impossible as school didn’t want to get Left-Handed sticks – had to go in goal every time as I couldn’t play with a right-handed stick..
hockey, floorball, all tactic of teams are based in the right game of the team.
hockey, I couldn’t hold the stick properly.
Hockey, I found it hard to some of the hits because you were supposed 2 use your right hand to power through. Tennis because they only show the exercises the right handed way
hockey, its illegal to use a left-handed stick, therefore they don’t make them!!
Hockey, kayaking because proper left handed equipment was not provided
hockey, no left handed hockey sticks available
Hockey, Rounders.
Hockey, you have to play right handed.
Hockey. All the sticks are right handed.
Hockey. Badminton/ tennis can be difficult as if there is a right handed person next to you the racquets often clash if you raise them at the same time. When we learn techniques for throwing events like discus or javelin, the teachers, who are usually right handed teach you how to throw from your right hand which can be a bit confusing.
Hockey. Found it very difficult as an 11-year old to get to grips with the hockey stick. TO me a lot longer than everyone else to learn to hit the ball, as in a golf swing, because I felt I was doing it the wrong way round.
Hockey. I know fully well there are left handed hockey teams – but alas there was never enough of us to play together at school so I was forced into some really weird position that left totally unnatural because I needed my dominant hand in control rather than the right that is normally used.
Hockey. It’s a right handed game!!
Horse riding as all the techniques such as leading a horse are done with the right hand
I actually play some sports right-handed, some left-handed and some I’m fine with either way. I don’t know if this is really a leftie problem, I just remember the occasional embarrassing ritual when trying a new sport at school and having to admit that I wouldn’t know which hand I played with until I attempted it both ways. The teachers did always ask to find out if anyone was left-handed though and showed us how to play if we were.

Actually, it used to be rather funny because in the baseball/softball kits there always seemed to be a disproportionate amount of right-handed gloves (ie, for the lefties so they could throw with their left hands). That meant that right-handers often got stuck having to wear one if they wanted to play. It was kind of fun watching them have to deal with it.
I always had to adapt to the way the right handers played. Baseball is very difficult for me as I throw with my right hand but also catch with my right hand. This means that when I catch the ball I then have to quickly remove my glove and put it back in my right hand to throw it. I was never quick enough!
I attempted kuk-sool-won which is a korean martial art and got told I would not be able to succeed because my brain is “wired differently”
I can not remember how to hold bats sometimes etc.
I can play right and left handed
I can use my right or left hand to throw balls and bat in baseball.
I could never play hockey properly because the sticks were for right-handed people.
I do golf and baseball right handed (hitting only) Once had a moped wreck due to left handed–controls on right, and I processed too slowly!
I do Tae kwon do and during the patterns I am quite often the wrong way round.
I don’t actually play sports, but I feel like I am a better catcher with my right hand, but that is also the hand/arm I am better at throwing with, so soft/baseball definitely wouldn’t be my sport!
I don’t swim in a straight line as my left hand is stronger than my right. In dancing I start out with my left foot/arm when everyone else starts with their right.
I had a hard time with tennis.
I had an instructor in high school that insisted that the only way to serve in volleyball was right handed. I was especially awkward. I finally asked to do it my way. Because I was able to pinpoint where my serve would go when using my left hand, he never again tried to change me.

I was a cheerleader/drill team, that was nearly impossible because all routines started with the right and it was never routine for me.
I learned all my sports right handed, because that is how the teachers knew. Not to mention that they never had leftie baseball gloves at school.
I only learned to bat left handed after my school days were over. No coach would teach me to bat left handed.
I play cricket and bowlers bowl to my leg side, quite often as wides but they aren’t given by the umpire
i play most sports with both left and right hands/feet…
i recently tried to play golf with my husband, but there were no left-handed clubs available to rent. The Pro. told me to play rightly, because they I would be pulling the club with my strong arm (the left)… I said to him, “well then if that’s true, wouldn’t all right-handed golfers play lefty?” he wasn’t sure what to say…
I run right-footed so in softball I run after the ball and then have to twirl the wrong way around to throw it back, which takes too much time and would be easier if I were right-handed (which is why no one really notices it)
I tended to kick the ball with my left foot. Also I was never taught how to hold a baseball bat in my left hand.
I tried to play golf once with a school group and was unable to comprehend why I couldn’t hit the ball like everybody else. I thought I was just bad at it. So many years later I realize why that was.
I tried to play left handed and was told that it was wrong and had to learn right handed
I was a terrible klutz in sports and had a hard time swinging a bat when playing softball.
I was lucky one year to have a left-handed teacher, who supported me a lot. But often, a right-handed teacher is unable to explain certain techniques to someone who is left-handed.
I was never really sure if I threw/jumped or used a hockey stick etc with my left or right hand so never really excelled at any sport as I always felt rather clumsy
I was unable to pursue fencing at college as they only had right handed foils. After college I became interested in shooting – but the club I joined had no pistols with left handed stocks and were unlikely to get them because of cost v demand. I gave them both up.
I wasn’t taught by the school or GAA club affiliated with the school how to hold a hurley left handed. My mother had to show me how.
I wasn’t very good a sport over all any way.
I went to play Polo once and was advised that you must play right handed. I refused and didn’t play. Left Golf clubs are hard to find and must be special ordered.
jihad to learn hockey right handed
I’m not much for sports, really, but it’s a lot of fun to throw people for a loop when they don’t realise I’ll be playing opposite them.
In all sports, I use my right hand. It is the same way with tools.
In baseball I can never hit the ball right
In baseball there are positions that left handed players do not play. For example Catcher, Shortstop, and Third Base
in cricket, or softball, I get the ball bowled to my right side, making it almost impossible for me to hit it.
in games like tennis and badminton it is hard to get a rally going as I am always hitting back hand.
In respect of coaching – coaches have forced me to play right-handed which is foreign and a strain on my arm.
In rounders they throw ball to wrong side
in rounders, cricket and softball people bowl to my right hand side which makes the ball impossible to hit
In school I took badminton (required) I would serve right handed because that is how I was taught and switched the racket to my left hand to play. I received a D just because I switched hands to play left handed. We then went into our golf portion and I was only given right handed clubs. I was told I would need to purchase left handed clubs if I wanted them.
In softball being left handed prevented me from playing second and third base b/c the coach said it would take longer for me to turn and throw the ball. I had to teach myself to use both hands equally b/c quite often in a pick up game there are not left handed gloves. I learned how to be a switch hitter just to throw people off their game. In golf I have a hard time finding left handed clubs to rent.
In some sports ie. cricket or golf can’t decide which way to play left /right as you get taught one way but don’t get an opportunity to try the natural way.
In sports, I was told that left-handers should play right-handed (ex. holding a hockey stick, shooting a basketball) I see right handers using their right hands all the time for sports.
In throwing events in athletics especially and in some other sports, teachers are unable to do the action as a left-hander would so you usually have to turn everything around.
It is difficult to find equipment, especially in school (baseball mitts, ice hockey sticks, field hockey doesn’t allow left-handed play at all).
It is difficult to obtain some equipment like batting gloves etc Also some handles are shaped to suit right handers.
It is only more difficult in the learning stages. But we leftys become good at switching directions in our head. I’ve only had one sports teacher that knew how to teach leftys
It takes the coaches a few minutes to catch on when batting T-Ball.
I’ve always felt clumsy
javelin and disk throw
javelin, discus etc – the teacher couldn’t demonstrate the opposite the hand, so I could never master the technique.
Javelin, Hockey
Javelin, Hockey
Just being taught by teachers that can’t demonstrate a sport the other way, eg tennis and rounders at school. My teacher at Primary school in rounders told me, “Don’t hit the ball too hard as we don’t have fielders over there” not good for a child’s confidence!
kept hitting the catcher with the bat after swinging for the ball in baseball.
lacrosse & field hockey were more challenging. Rifle is much more complicated just finding the equipment.
learning baseball no one had any left-handed gloves so I had to learn to play right handed
learning sports was difficult due to teachers not being able to instruct a left handed student
Learning to shoot a gun and archery… having everything right handed because everyone but me is right. I currently have a left handed bow, that needs restrung so I’m going to learn on that the lefty way the correct way for this lefty. I learned right first
Maybe it’s not that I’m left-handed, it’s that I suck at sports
meeting other left handed bowlers is confusing because I’m so used to playing right handed people .Rounders is confusing too as the fielding team has to switch positions when I bat so I get confused with the layout!
My brother taught me how to bat right because he said batting left was the stupid way. So now I bat right and throw left. All the throwing drills are completely backwards.
My coaches taught me to bat right-handed. It’s taken me a year to un-learn the right-handed batting. I struggle hitting the ball
my co-ordination is not so good – and I was never given enough time to work out if I was better right or left handed
Needed left handed mitts, which my father provided.
Never know proper techniques because I’m always taught by a righty.
No because I am ambidextrous however my friend who is left handed finds if difficult because the teacher demonstrates right handed and he just tells my friend to reverse it WITHOUT a demo!
No one could show me proper techniques for lefties so I bat and throw right handed. Plus there were never left handed gloves for baseball.
Not for Edward but Alice finds tennis a real challenge, she hasn’t been shown how to use her racket left-handedly nor how to serve. However she does go rowing and hasn’t found any difficulties yet. She isn’t rowing in an eight yet, being left-handed may be of benefit then.
Not good at sports period.
Not necessarily more difficult, but maybe disadvantageous. for example, in softball the only infield position a lefty would ever play is first base, but in the other positions (besides pitcher), a lefty would be turned the wrong way after fielding the ball and would have to turn more/waste more time to throw it to first.

Overall, being left-handed makes sports (and life) more challenging just because whenever a technique it demonstrated, it is usually done right-handed so a lefty has to mentally flip it around. However that’s not to say that I haven’t had some coaches would were willing to reverse it themselves to show me my (lefty) way.
not very good at any sports
Note: Golf is harder to learn, but you can.
OMG! ANYTHING tennis-related. Table tennis, badminton, tennis, wiffle ball, etc-serving the ball becomes a pain – even volleyball. Was always told to do it just opposite right handed people – and for that I never could.
only when I am trying to learn for the first time from a right hander.
play right handed
played field hockey, coach was not helpful
Playing any ball games (tennis etc.) has been more of a fun since I’ve never learned to play either handed…
Playing hockey and cricket at school because there were no left-handed sticks or bats!!
playing infield in softball
playing racket sports like tennis etc. was a real headache because you would have play virtually all your shots on the back hand no wonder Greg Rudeski scores most of his points serving aces.
Poor coordination, quite a clumsy person which I attribute to being left handed.
Purchase of a baseball mitt.
Racquet ball, squash, hand ball
Racquet sports
RH hockey sticks are a chore
Rifle, Archery
rounders – batting and bowling
rounders – told to use bat in right hand, so it did not hit anyone in line!
rounders – told to use bat in right hand, so it did not hit anyone in line!
Rounders – wasn’t allowed to use left hand – very biased.
rounders and cricket
Rounders etc. as hit the ball the other towards 1st post making it easier for me to be caught out.
rounders- if you don’t hit very hard you hit it to first post!
rounders if you hold the bat in your left hand the ball always goes out
rounders in particular as everyone had to move round, I also found hockey difficult as the stick was the wrong way for me
Rounders or anything else including using a bat
rounders, as you are batting straight towards first base!
Rounders, because bowlers can never quite get the hang of throwing for a left hander, and blame us when it hits the body.
Rounders, Cricket – bowlers bowl other side
Rounders, Cricket, tennis
Rounders, tennis, badminton, volley ball.
Rounders, the always throw the ball the other side of me.
Rounders. bowler always throws ball to my right side, making it hard for me to hit it, so I have to do’backhand’ which does not work.
Rugby a bit
Rugby a bit
rugby- it is hard to pass the ball
school provide equipment for righties only, so in field hockey they only have goalie blocker for righties and force lefties to use their right hands for stick handling.
Serving underhand in Volleyball.
serving volleyball
Shooting and archery
soccer, football
softball – no left handed mitts/golf clubs/archery bows available at PE
Softball because there was very rarely a left-handed mitt
softball because you have to turn around to run to first base so I started batting right handed
softball, basketball, volleyball
Softball, running the bases.
Softball. Most pitchers couldn’t pitch to me so I got hit with the ball a lot.
Sometimes gear is specific for hands but this is rare.
Sometimes I get confused because I play sports better with my right hand and I think my mind and body do not do the same thing.
Sports where you need to bat or swing a certain way I am horrible at.
sports with bats, racquets, etc.
swimming was a little difficult at first. when I was being taught to swim they assumed that I was right handed and they taught me to breath on the wrong side. I kept swallowing water and choking, my mother had to tell them that I was left handed and not that it was because I could not grasp the concept of taking breathes while swimming.
Taught tennis right handed – forced to play that way.
Tennis – being left to play with the other left-handers meant that none of us ever got any better
Tennis and baseball, no one can serve or pitch to me.
tennis and bowling
Tennis as I am often put with a right hander.
tennis in particular as I never knew which hand to hold the racket in. In most sports lessons the teacher wasn’t very helpful they just told lefthanders to do the same thing but backwards!
Tennis! I was the only left in a class of 20. Practicing backhand swings and foot placement was always difficult
tennis, cricket, lacrosse
tennis, have to backhand mostly
tennis, hockey
Tennis, I am made to play right-handed. Also hockey, my wrists hurt from the way I have to hold the hockey stick.
tennis, left hand too much power – couldn’t control
Tennis, Netball
tennis, taught right handed
Tennis. Teachers don’t show correct use of equipment
Tennis…Rounders..anything involving a bat!
the baseball coach didn’t know I was left-handed and made me learn to bat the wrong way
The teacher won’t let me play left-handed.
they do not teach leftys to play basketball, so I had to play right handed.
Throwing (everything in general to do with throwing), tennis
throwing athletic events
throwing athletic events
throwing, since I had to adapt throwing w/ my right hand, not left
too many to list. Swimming instructors always taught to breath when the hand you write with was at the back, however was taught to turn head to the right, which complicated the swimming stroke.
trampolining. some moves I have to reverse to make it work
Try to find a left-handed baseball mitt in the 1950’s! (or even explain to someone why you needed one!)
Trying to play hockey right handed was a nightmare – it wasn’t until we started playing 5-a-side hokey with double sided plastic sticks that I finally began to enjoy it’!
Until I got my own bowling ball, I had to use the ones provided at the bowling alley, which were all right-handed. Also bowling shoes, the slidy shoe was on the wrong foot until I bought a pair of left-handed bowling shoes. Also had trouble with baseball mitts when I was young
Volleyball, Basketball, and Softball. All of my coaches were right handed so when they were teaching my teammates how to hit or throw or shoot I had to take what they were telling everyone else and switch the order. Pitching is difficult because everything is backwards and its hard to know if you are doing something wrong and fix it because everyone else is doing it backwards.
was given a right handed mitt in softball
Was not interested in sports at school
When demonstrating canoe strokes I have to “think” opposite to the people I am coaching.
When I started softball, the coaches spent a lot of time trying to figure out which arm I should throw with and whether I should bat left or right. When I started tennis, I was able to play either right or left-handed and it caused confusion trying to identify my dominant hand.
When I was younger I had coaches in Basketball that expected me to do right handed things perfect even though I’m not right handed.
when learning to bat when I was young, all my friends were right handed and no one knew how to teach me to hit left handed. Coaches do everything right handed since most are right handed.
when playing American baseball in PE classes, hitting left handed put me in a position where I would hit the ball right to the first baseman.
Whenever I’m shown how to hold a racket or bat, I get very confused and hold the racket or bat in an awkward position.
While playing baseball or basketball, nobody could explain how I should hold my bat or ball.
yes – hockey sticks
yes, tennis, rounders
you have to think opposite to what the teacher is saying and sometimes takes a bit longer to pick up how to do it but being one of the few lefthanders you will always be pretty good at it
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