08/11/16: Teamwork makes the Dreamwork

Hi there!

It’s Diana again.

This summer we’ve been playing soccer with the kids at the Coalition
every Saturday and it’s SO much fun! We’ve been trying really hard to
instill a lot of values in the players, and I think one that we’ve made
headway on, especially this afternoon, is TEAMWORK.

Imagine putting kids that have to deal with homelessness, that come from
broken homes, that put up a guard to cope, that may not feel loved all
the time, together and asking them to play fairly and calmly. You can
bet IT’S NOT EASY.

We have kids tripping each other and yelling at each other and making
fun of each other when they can’t do something. One of the players kept
laughing at another today while we were playing a game, and even after
asking her several times to stop, she wouldn’t. My sister (who’s an
awesome volunteer!) spoke with her. She told her it’s not okay to make
fun of someone else, especially when you’re on the same team. She take a
break and when she came back into the game, she was a new person! I
could tell it was taking everything from her, but she wasn’t making fun
anymore.

Later, we were doing a 1 on 1 tournament. One of the players kept
encouraging the others, even his opponents. When he scored, he looked at
his opponent and said, “Keep working hard man.” (That definitely got me
close to tears!)

Last week when we were getting ready for a scrimmage (coaches against
players), all the players huddled up and started making a plan. They
played so well and really worked together and were able to beat the
coaches! (This is probably because I was playing though- I have two left
feet.)

I think we’ve made just a little bit of progress on this value, but even
that is immense. It is hard to teach these kids something like teamwork
because that stems from love. If they’re feeling aggressive, they cannot
show teamwork. If they’re feeling like their parents don’t love them or
support them, they can’t play in a team. If they’re frustrated with
their difficult situation, they cannot be calm around their teammates.
But it’s our job to show them that love and support they’re missing. It
is our job to bridge those gaps so that they are able to reach their
full potential. It is our job to set an example of love for each other
so that they can get along and work with others.

Also: it’s not to late to RSVP to our benefit dinner, it’s tomorrow! The link isĀ http://whoozin.com/3M9-CE7-A6EF