March 19, 2018 3 Comments
“WANTED dreamers, rebels and daredevils”…
billboard message caught my eye while driving on highway to get to my son’s basketball tournament. Instantly the thought crossed my mind… “What a coincidence…Rebels wanted.” Rebels is the name of the team my son plays for.
The journey of a rebel is not an easy one. It seems like a blink of an eye it was 5 years ago we were in the midst of try outs for 4th grade team ...and my son made it for what others referred to as “an elite team.” That was the year of a lot of new for us… new move, new home, new school, new friends and new basketball team. He loved the “b-ball” from young age and yes I was happy he got to play.
After one season on the elite team, he was not selected to play for the same team next year - rather he made it on the “B” team. His father felt he had the skills for “A” team and while he seemed disappointed, I felt “This is exactly where he needs to be. It felt right.” And it was…
See, sometimes, what we may experience as a step back is simply the step needed needed to propel us forward...
The 5th grade was the first year he was to be coached by coach Ben. It was through that journey I learned to appreciate the value of a good coach in your child’s life. The mentor.. The one who knows how to get your child to think and act “bigger”, the one who motivates and at the end transforms. Transforms to where your child’s team considered “non-elite” is playing and winning over elite league teams; 5th grade the boys won B league tourney, 6th grade won B league division and got moved up to "A (elite)" leagues, 7th grade went pretty far in A league tournaments. The team exceeded many people expectations.
Each game played as thought it is a game of life… with reflections on lessons learned. “What did we learn today” is the first question asked of the boys whether the game is lost or won. Boys reflect on what they learned and coach shares his feedback which many times is not gentle, yet honest, followed by "What could we do differently?"
It was their final or 4th season (8th grade) where life got a bit complicated. While it should not, many times youth sports get “contaminated” by parental politics, expectations and organizational dysfunctions. And our team got in the midst of it… essentially families were informed coach would not be returning to coach them in the final year….
Families concerned with the gravity and circumstances chose to support coach Ben in creating the team of his own called “Rebels”.
And what did Rebels do… they showed up.. Rebels did not accept the status quo and were not afraid to think big. They were brave to think outside of the box. In their last season, while they did not win the tournament they played hard wining over many elite teams and making it into final play offs, where simply lost due to sheer exhaustion.
Rebels played with their heart and spirit. Now grown they are walking away with many life lessons learned.
What I walk away is... strong belief in your child, do not let anyone design "a box" for your child to fit in and limit his expectations by someone else inability to see his/her potential.... We are closing the chapter of this journey with deep awareness to having a good coach being a gift. And yes, this world needs Rebels....
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