Considering I have 4 blog posts written but not posted over the last month…I think I am going to just start posting without editing (content). So apologies it isn’t pretty, but if I start to edit…it will join the others of “to be posted…someday’s.”
One of my favorite things to watch is a group of kids, of all ages and skill levels, who don’t know each other prior, form a pick up ball game. Having 3 children, and spending lots of time at the baseball fields, I’m am blessed to have seen a few. The kids form teams, set ground rules and have a great time playing…with little thought or stress. It isn’t perfect. They may have differences in opinion, but they’re resolved and the game goes on. They don’t lose sight of why they’re there. AND…although they aren’t there to formally “get” anything out of it, they leave having learned so many valuable life-long skills that cannot be taught from a textbook…nor can they be measured or assessed.
I have immense respect for all the volunteer coaches out there. Coaching takes lots of energy, can be time consuming to do it well, and you go into it knowing you will most likely upset people for one reason or another. I have been on both sides (parent-spectator and coach) and have lived the struggles from both perspectives. Tonight an issue came up at my son’s baseball game where adults got in the way of the game (if just for a minute). I fully understand why the adults were upset tonight, but in the end it didn’t change anything. In the heat of the moment, we may believe we are standing up for our kids and/or team. We need to do a better job of taking time to stop and think about what we are choosing to argue. What (and who) really wins at the end of this? I’m going to bet our kids lose every time, in more ways than one.
As adults, we have so much to learn from kids. Below, in complete middle-of-the-night-thoughts random order, are a few things I have taken from watching these kids:
- Recognize individuals for their unique strengths and weaknesses – but don’t hold it against them.
- Keep “the why” at the center
- Welcome any and all who are interested in joining in…no prior connections needed
- Cheer everybody on…even those on the opposing team
- Laugh, laugh and laugh some more
- Take with you a lifetime of memories and new friends
- Communication is crucial…you have to talk to and hear one another
- Jump in and get to know others…you never know what may grow from it