RYM! A Sports Story to Set the Stage...

I'm privileged to be coaching the soccer team of my two, older sons this summer (ages 9-10). In the first game we got hammered... 8 - 2.  The kids were demoralized, but what did they expect?  After the game I pointed out... they didn't play their positions, were goofing around on and off the field, weren't playing when they didn't have the ball... they didn't listen to the coach.  I affirmed their gifts, and challenged them with their possibility if they came to play: "It's not the score out there that matters, it's the score in there (pointing to my son's heart) that matters... Did you come to play? Did you give your best? Did you leave it all on the field?"  I followed up with a note to the parents conveying the same... "It's not just about becoming better players, it's about becoming better people...".   

Please note, while I certainly derive a measure of pride in what followed-- I didn't invent these concepts. The "magic" is in the hearts of these kids and their parents/homes.  The teams that followed were every bit as challenging as the first, but this time the kids came to play.  They were focused, relentless, and I was overwhelmed by what they showed me.  We won 6-0, 12-0, 10-1 and 8-1.... It was (and continues to be) absolutely exhilarating to see these kids connect with their purpose and potentiality... their (and their parents!) great joy.   

Here's the deal.  Our soccer team is a metaphor for our community, what's happening in our community... what can happen in our community (and communities around the country).  Thus far the overall story line is too dotted with instances of unnecessary, tragic deaths... instances of violence... add to that the much more common, much more silent and slow "inner death" by loss of vision, mission and purpose.  

In this field, for these kids, at this time... you and I are the coaches. We've been given these kids, and this community.  We share a common passion and mission-- for them to discover their mission and purpose, and to live it out loud.  (And let's face it, this is as applicable to adults as it is kids... but kids are the way to the adults...). 

Get Ready to Rock...
Greg Schlueter