INTRODUCTION TO START PRACTICE/GAME
This week our virtue theme is DIGNITY – The strength to be worthy of respect and honor. DIGNITY is a virtue needed by every person. We are all worthy of respect and honor! For a team to be successful, all players must possess DIGNITY and see the DIGNITY in all people and in all things.
Thank you, Lord, for this day, this opportunity, this time together. Strengthen our wills and forge our resolve to treat ourselves and others with DIGNITY. We all-as human beings-are worthy of respect and honor. Help us to remember this, daily, in all that we do. Does anyone have any prayer intentions? Who wants to lead us in a prayer?
STORY TO TELL IMMEDIATELY AFTER PRAYER
COACHING YOUR KIDS IN THE GAME OF LIFE by: Ricky Byrdsong
I remember it like it was yesterday. Tenth grade, Frederick Douglass High School in Atlanta. Tall and gangly, I was pushing my way through the crowded hallway. All of a sudden a big, booming voice pealed like a thunderclap behind me: “Hey, son!”
It was Coach William Lester. He was a big, barrel-chested man, six feet, four inches. Besides being the junior varsity basketball coach, he also had a reputation as the school disciplinarian, so the first thing I thought was, uh-oh, somebody’s in trouble. He fixed me with his piercing eyes and bellowed, “Yeah, you, son!”
Weak-kneed, I started walking toward him. Oh, my what had I done? I stopped in front of him, all six feet, five inches of me trembling in my shoes. “Son!” he said, looking me up and down. “You’re too big to be walking these halls and not playing basketball. I’ll see you in the gym at 3:30 today.”
“But Coach!” I sputtered. “I’ve never played basketball. I don’t have any basketball clothes or shoes.”
“Son! Did you hear what I said? I’ll see you at 3:30!” And he walked away. So I went.
And from that day until now, there’s no question in my mind that everything that has happened to me since, becoming a basketball player, then a coach, raising three kids, writing a book, is a result of that day when Coach called me out and said “Hey, son! Yes you!”
Up until that point, I hadn’t been a troublemaker, but I was drifting. I had no idea what my goals were or where I was heading.
Coach Lester helped me see something bigger out there. I remember when he told me “You can get a college scholarship.” When I said, “But I don’t know how. I don’t have it,” he said “Yes, you do. I’m going to show you. I’m going to work with you. You can do it.” And he was right. I knew it the day I set foot on a college campus, scholarship in hand. He believed in me.
Many times since the day I heard that big voice bellow, “Hey, son!” I’ve thought, if only every kid had a Coach William Lester to believe in him, what a difference it would make.
QUESTIONS TO ENGAGE PLAYERS
Have you ever had a teacher or coach notice you?
What did they say?
Do you think the coach in this story respected the player’s DIGNITY? How?
RESOLUTION TO WORK ON DURING PRACTICE/GAME
Respect the DIGNITY of underclassmen by not making them clean up the field, or putting them down, or ignoring them.
Ask individually as many players as you can during practice/game the below:
Respect the DIGNITY of your players by taking the time to talk to every one of them, treating them all with respect.
Why did they come out for the sport?
END OF PRACTICE/GAME PRAYER
Lord God, You didn’t run at the first sign of chaos or difficulty. You showed us how to live with DIGNITY and to treat all others-that everybody has DIGNITY. We want to live like You! We want to live for You and for others. Help us to respect the DIGNITY of everybody we encounter today-showing them that we are a follower of You.
WAY TO LIVE THE VIRTUE THIS WEEK
Call up your grandmother or grandfather or older relative and talk to them for ten minutes. Show them that you love them and respect them.
DIGNITY QUOTES FOR THE WEEK
*Each day this week communicate the quote of the day.
“A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it with me when my memory fails.” – Pioneer Girls Leaders’s Handbook
“Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel
“Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man’s soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it.” – Laura Hillenbrand
“Every life deserves a certain amount of dignity, no matter how poor or damaged the shell that carries it.” – Rick Bragg
“The important thing isn’t what other people think you are; it’s who you are.” – Shannon L. Alder
“No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.” – Booker T. Washington
“The quality of your mind depends on the quality of your thought.” – Okorie Deborah