Cheering for the Other Team / by James Leath

Youth sports are more than just a game and a few practices a week. Being involved in a sport can change the trajectory of an athlete's entire life if the coaches and administration are intentional about the experience of that athlete. In 2014, for example, a very odd game was played in Grapevine, Texas. It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School, and everything about it was upside down. Take this quote, for example:

"Imagine if you didn't have a home life. Imagine if everybody had pretty much given up on you. Now imagine what it would mean for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you. Next thing you know, the Gainesville Tornadoes were turning around on their bench to see something they never had before. Hundreds of fans. And actual cheerleaders!"

When Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through. Did you catch that? The opposing team's fans made a tunnel for the team that came to play against their sons, brothers, and friends! They even made a banner for players to crash through at the end. It said, "Go Tornadoes!" Click here to read the entire article.

The whistle around your neck is not just to get the attention of the team; it is permission to be one of the most critical parts of a child's emotional, social, and physical development. Take pride in your position, and give your athletes more than just a playbook, give them an experience.