The job application asked if I had enthusiasm, if I could encourage kids, bring out the best in them, can I give a high five and make a big deal of small things? It said I’d serve as a role model to these kids, so I thought about it and decided that I try to do this every day for kids in my office, so it couldn’t be that hard, right? I mean, why not try it? It seemed like a better job than sitting on the sidelines, so I decided to “help out”. When I signed up my son for soccer, I clicked the box that said I was interested in being an Assistant Coach, but several days later, I received an email that said no one else had volunteered, so I was being promoted to head coach. Yeah, me the person who can encourage kids but hasn’t played soccer since college. So I went through a quick training, became a “certified coach” and set out to my first practice.
It has been a learning experience so far, and actually harder than I thought. Not only do I have to encourage these kids, but also I have to actually teach them soccer. If you’ve ever seen a group of 7-9 year olds play soccer, you see a bunch of kids all chasing the ball, so teaching them to spread out, play defense, pass the ball…well that just doesn’t work. So we just work on kicking the ball, shooting, chasing the ball down, throwing the ball in, and some other basics. Most importantly, I have to make sure each kids plays an equal amount of time and that we don’t play favorites. Yes, as you can imagine with little kids, there are some who are better players than others, and some who don’t seem that interested to be there. But they all have to play and they all have to sit out. We talk about teamwork, enthusiasm, confidence, sharing, courage & respect.
I see these kids running around, often crashing into other players, falling on the ground, and hope they get adjusted. I don’t even tell them I’m a chiropractor, and I wonder who does get adjusted and who doesn’t. It’s these little soccer games and little bumps (micro traumas), are what add up and can lead to spinal & health problems down the road. Most people think it’s the big accidents that can cause subluxations, but typically it’s the repetitive motions over time that is the problem. It’s the physical and emotional stresses of life that contribute to problems. And it starts when a person is young, which is why we adjust so many kids in our office. Let us help them at an early age.
I’m really hoping that when the season is done, that these kids learned something. Sure it’s great if they learn the rules of the game, but I hope they do learn about being a teammate, having enthusiasm, and having more confidence. The three tallest, fastest players are our three leading scorers. Our girls like to all play goalie. My kid likes says he likes to play defense. And then there’s this one little boy, the smallest one on the team, but he could be the one who tries the hardest. He started the season saying he wasn’t any good, yet his confidence has improved in just two months, and this kid has a heart bigger than anyone out there. If anything, he has made my season, seeing him smile and knowing that he is leaving the season a better person and player than when he started.
When was the last time you stepped outside your comfort zone? When is the last time you focused on teamwork, enthusiasm, confidence, sharing, courage & respect in YOUR life in any way? No it doesn’t have to be about sports, but those are life values that we all should focus on, whether it’s in the classroom, playing field, home or office. If we all did that, we’d live in a much happier world.