1-2-3-Teamwork! It’s one of the standard yells for any sport played involving more than one person. But the depth behind that yell goes way beyond the surface.
Remember the phrase, ‘there is no “I” in team’? Often the teams who win championships are the teams who work well together. Being a part of a TEAM means learning to depend on one another. Teamwork is all about building relationships, and God created us to be in relationships. Being a part of a sports team is a great way to learn all about teamwork, but many parents struggle with the decision of whether the time, energy, and financial investment into team sports is worth it. Is teaching our children about teamwork worth the investment?
There was never a question of whether our kids would play team sports. We valued teaching our kids to be team players and believed sports was the best way to teach teamwork. Our family is a TEAM. When our kids were little and they were headed to a practice, game or social function, we would ask them, ‘who are you representing?’ The answer was God and Team Langston. We are a team. When one falls short, the others pick them up. When one succeeds, we all celebrate.
A TEAM in a sports arena is so much more than just the players. Critical parts of the team are the players, the school/organization, the parents, and the coaches. Players learn to problem solve, work with others, take the lead, know when to follow, encourage others, learn from mistakes, submit to authority, and be humble in both winning and losing which lends to sportsmanship. The school/organization must recruit coaches that want to partner with parents to model and teach the character traits above to cultivate successful TEAMS. The coaches must be able and willing to work with parents and players for the success of the TEAM. The parents must be willing to support the coach in their role and know when to speak up if the TEAMwork is breaking down.
If the whole community TEAM is involved in a fruitful manner, the seeds planted season by season will grow into healthy team members for life. God uses team sports to intersect and weave lives together for His purposes. Proverbs 22:6 tells us to train up the child in the way he should go. Teaching children teamwork through team sports can be a valuable tool in this training.
Our kids have been a part of many teams growing up. Some were the full TEAM package, and some lacked in completion. However, growth prevailed both ways, just a little harder and messier without the complete package. When you have the complete TEAM package, no matter the points on the scoreboard, VICTORY is had. 1-2-3-TEAMwork!