Monday, July 14, 2008

On Team and Coaching

A year ago, they were valiant. Beaten, but valiant. They trudged on, in fact they ran onto the field, game after game and got their socks knocked off. But incrementally, play by play they improved; the weave of the team grew tighter and skills developed.

This was their first year together. A group of gangly, growing, eight and under boys learning to pass well and play their positions instead of chasing that black and white ball around the field like a bunch of puppies on a squirrel.

Now the scene has changed.

Tonight they were grace in motion. They’ve been winning again and again, shutout after shutout.
Passing, running, shooting, straight up the middle or a quick kick to the side to the man set up a little off center that nobody saw. The ball flies to him and bam, it’s in before the goalie really knew it was coming.

They marched back to their positions after the goal and looked like seasoned veterans of the game.
The biggest change I see is that they are comfortable with who they are and what they came to do. And that agenda has been to win…not just play well, but knock the socks off every single team that beat them last year.
They are sportsmen, in attitude and skill. They all came and tried out. They were all selected for their abilities and fit to the team. Then the coach began to shape and mold each one, and the greater group.

They are a joy to watch, a symphony of movement. They make it look effortless, but yet it is obvious that they are working hard.
Coach stands on the side, sometimes shouting till he’s hoarse, taking off his hat, raking his fingers through his hair as the tension of the play builds. He’s a study in Italian, soccer loving passion. He sees what these boys have to give, what’s been gifted into them by a greater Hand and he does the job of digging it out and shaping it into the visible talent it was meant to be.
We are grateful for the dedication of this man, the persistence he has in molding, not just on the field, but in the enthusiastic emails when there’s a win, the encouraging communications when someone is sick and missed on the field and the exhorting when he can’t be there. He coaches by email instead, pouring in the words that the boys need to hear, building up, affirming his belief in who they are and what they can do. This also is a joy to see.
These soccer playing boys have come so far. The fruit is in the scores, and in their attitudes. They have been willing to work hard all along, disappointed at losses, but never looking back, being encouraged that there is always something to learn.
I am so proud of them all.

"When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion,
we were like men who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The Lord has done great things for them."
The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.

He who goes out weeping,
carrying seeds to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him."
Psalm 126 NIV

6 comments:

Belinda said...

"He sees what these boys have to give, what’s been gifted into them by a greater Hand and he does the job of digging it out and shaping it into the visible talent it was meant to be."

Ang, this post, which I absolutely LOVED, reminded me of my passion and vision for all us to develop our gifts as writers.

In your description of the game, the coach running his fingers through his hair etc. You are personifying the story behind the story.

May we; may our pens be, "grace in motion."

Susan said...

"This was their first year together. A group of gangly, growing, eight and under boys learning to pass well and play their positions instead of chasing that black and white ball around the field like a bunch of puppies on a squirrel."

What perfect imagery. I love this post, Ang. It's your best one yet. And the scripture... what a PERFECT fit. And the message! Layer upon layer of truth, leaving much for us to chew on. I will read this post over and over.

lifedancegirl said...

Angcat,
I felt like I was right there watching this transformation.Thank you for your insight and
observations which have encouraged me. There is much in your post for me to apply on a spiritual level.

"The biggest change I see is that they are comfortable with who they are and what they came to do." When I am comfortable with who I am and what I am to do then I too am sucessful at doing what I was gifted to do. "He sees what these boys have to give, what’s been gifted into them by a greater Hand and he does the job of digging it out and shaping it into the visible talent it was meant to be." God has used others as tools in His hand to do this in my life. (Belinda you have been one of those tools)"pouring in the words that the boys need to hear, building up, affirming his belief in who they are and what they can do." God's Word builds me up, affirming His belief in who I am and what I can do.

Belinda said...

Thank you Lifedancegirl, for sharing how this post blessed you. How amazing that so many lines in this story, spoke to so many of us, on different levels. I love how God does that!

Joyful Fox said...

Angcat,

Bless you for sharing this. I know that gangly bunch of spirited boys who persevered time and time again. It blesses my heart to see what they have accomplished this year. I am sorry my Josh could not have been part of the victory as he was present in defeat but this has not been part of God's plan for him.

Beyond my personal part of the team, I am blessed by your writing. Ang, you've come so far. You've gone from being a great writer to an even greater writer. It is a delight to read your words, how you pull out something great and give take-away value to a snippet of a part of your life. What a gift from a "greater hand" to quote a great writer I know.

Blessings, sister

Angcat said...

Dear Fellow Writers and Readers...
To God be the glory. It's amazing how He puts a story together, first in real life, and then gets ink to paper to tell it and teach and bless.
I am taught to.
Yippee God! We love your gifts!