Affirmation circle: Story of a 5th grade basketball team

Ten Year Old played on the 5th grade basketball team this year, with other students from the Friends School in a league at a city rec center.

Following the last game of the season a couple of weeks ago, the team gathered for a pizza party in a room at the rec center.

Once most of the team was there, along with a hefty chunk of the parental population, the boys gathered in a large circle, mostly rather quiet and calm. In fact, I was struck by just how quiet and calm they were. No doubt part of it was they were tired after a day at school and then a game on the court. Yet clearly, they were simply used to drawing together, without anyone asking them or directing them.

Coach Chris, one of three coaches for the team and the lead PE teacher at the school, asked for a moment of silence. Whatever chatter remained disappeared. There was some rustling, but still an air of calm and quiet fell about the place.

A few minutes later, Coach Chris asked the team to share an affirmation of something or someone from the season. He said that once the first person said something, then it would go around the circle in order from him. Students could contribute their own affirmation, echo what someone else had said, or pass.

After a less than half a minute of waiting, the first student spoke up. He thanked the three coaches for their help and the parents for their support. Many of the students echoed his remarks. Another boy thanked the parents of another student for giving him rides to practice. When my own son's turn came, he said that boy had spoken for him -- the same parents had given my son rides, too.

One of the last affirmations came from a boy who thanked a teammate for his efforts, saying that he hadn't started out as the best player but he had really worked hard and been a leader and inspiration for the others. This coming from a 10 or 11 year old boy about another one -- wow!

The final affirmation came from the staff coach at the rec center. I believe this was his second year working with teams from the Friends School. He was warm and full of praise for the team and they way they supported each other. I couldn't help but think that this team must be a bit different from most he works with. They sure didn't win many games, or even score that many points, but they had a spiritual maturity that was awesome to behold.


anj said...

That is beautiful; I am so glad ten year old got to play with this team.

الفرقد أبو الفرقد said...
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