Well, we won the competitive division. Went undefeated for the weekend! What a great group of guys. Great attitude and we played very well.
So, in an earlier post I mentioned that I would have to play with a former teammate who has been very disrespectful to me over the past year or so. He decided that he would be better off to play for a team that he thought was better than his regular team. Well, I played with his regular team, and we won...he didn't. I guess the grass isn't always greener! It was probably a very good thing for our team that he didn't play, because his negative energy and attitude are very strong; it could have very easily affected the team's performance in a negative way. (Just a side note, he also sponsors the team he chose to leave.)
So, what's the point? Being a good teammate means sticking with a group you are committed to. This guy played league all season with one team, then jumped ship to join another that he thought was better...bad teammate. Commitment is important to being part of a team, club, squad, family, class, staff, or whatever... so honour your commitments, stick with your teammates, and make the group stronger by supporting one another. Team sports, good coaches and good parents teach us these things.
So, yesterday I played with a new team for the first time. I know most of these guys from other leagues, but some of them I don't know at all. It was really fun to play with them because they all have good attitudes. They want to win, but winning isn't everything. They supported each other no matter what...and that's the point!
In baseball, a batting average of 300 is quite good, but in slo-pitch a batting average of 300 is terrible. You need to bat somewhere around 600 in competitive men's ball. This may seem easy to those who don't actually play, but it's not. Point: you can't be perfect all the time. You cannot bat 1000. Sometimes you fly out, ground out, or hit a lousy dribbler to the pitcher, and it sucks, but no one will feel worse than the guy who hit that lousy out. And sometimes it is an important at-bat, and it hurts the team if you can't pull through, but as a teammate, you cannot get down on that person for their failure. You need to build them up, tell them it's ok, and that they will get the next one. If you tear them down, you will only hurt that person's confidence and the team's performance.
This team that I am playing with this weekend builds up. They do not tear down. It seems all too often in our modern cyber world that we are very quick and ready to tear down. For a simple example, just go to any forum or comment board and you will find people who do nothing but make negative comments and are hurtful for no other reason than, they can. Go to any YouTube video and you will likely find negative comments about the hard work someone has put into producing a piece of work that they have spent hours creating. Why do they do that? Because they can. My guess is that these types of people have a lot of problems, but I also feel that they have not learned to respect others. Sports can help you learn that respect. And respect doesn't have to mean you like them, or agree with them, but you respect their efforts and abilities for what they are.
Team sports can teach us to be good teammates, build people up, and not tear them down, help them reach their potential while they help us reach ours.
So, today I am going to play in a provincial tournament with a team that invited me out to join them. That is exciting, and I'm happy that I get to play with a friend whom I haven't seen much of this year. He is a super guy: in fact, he is one of the best people I know. That's the great part...
The not-so-great part is that I have to play with a former teammate from my competitive mens team. He left the team for his own personal reasons, one of which included him choosing to blame particular players on our team for its lack of success; I happened to be one of those people in his mind.
So, here's the lesson in from sports that transfers into real life: You won't always like or respect the people you work/play with, and they might not like you, but you will have to work/play with them, regardless.
I have to play with this guy today, and I am not happy that he has thrown me under the bus and disrespected me, but while we are on the field this weekend I will play ball with him and be a good, supportive teammate. Why? Because it is what is best for the team.
Team work is important to part of any collective, whether social, work, sports or anything else, you have to be a good teammate. You don't have to like your teammates (although it clearly helps on many levels), but you have to work with them for the betterment of the team.
So, I am going to talk about something that I have believed my whole life: Sports teaches us lessons for life.
There are many people who feel that sports, particularly team sports, are a waste of time. I cannot tell you how much I disagree with them. There are so many lessons we learn from sports that transfer into our daily social, personal and work lives. Children need to participate in sports or athletic events to learn things like: sharing, turn-taking, individual sacrifice, sportsmanship, cooperation, camaraderie, winning and losing, team dynamics, personal growth, and more.
It has always been my contention that a team is stronger than an individual. I feel that in today's society we are losing the 'us' and are too concerned about the 'me'. At least, this is my observation in the urban setting. I have lived in the city of Vancouver for about 5 years now. Before that I have lived in more rural settings. My experience has been that in the rural setting, neighbours care more about each other, and are willing to be your friend. In Vancouver, I feel that people are far more reluctant to be friendly, and even less willing to extend themselves. This concerns me.
As a PE teacher, I have seen far too many children that cannot function without adult guidance and supervision. Remember when we were kids? I went out on Saturday morning, after my chores were done, to meet with my five friends. We made our own fun. We used our imaginations, built forts, went swimming and biking, fell down, got in fights, got stung by bees, and laughed a ton... and we survived!
I will leave this for now, but I want to carry this on in a series of posts. Let me know your thoughts. Maybe you've had different experiences.
Summer is almost over...time to prepare for school.
I have been continuing to read Professional Capital: Transforming Teaching in Every School, by Hargraves and Fullan. That was our professional book club book this year. We are going to meet one more time in September, debrief the last chapters and begin a new book for the coming year. We certainly hope that others will join our little group this year.
My personal interest lies within the realms of personal-professional growth and collaborative teaching. I believe that individuals with a strong motivation towards professional development (personally) will work well with others who share similar desires. Hence, I am beginning to read Learning by Doing: A Handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work, by DuFour, DuFour, Eaker and Many. I am hoping that this resource will act as a guide for developing a Professional Learning Community (PLC) at Franklin. I am also reading Getting Started: Reculturing Schools to Become Professional Learning Communities, by DuFour, DuFour and Eaker, with the hope of understanding how to create a PLC.
I will do my best to keep things up to date. I don't know if anyone reads this blog, but if you do, and you have any questions or comments, please drop me