Developing Leaders

As I watched my daughter’s last soccer games, here is what was running through my head:

“It will never be this like this again.  We will never be with such an amazing team like this again.”
You see, this team of girls has been together for years and next season Age Pure goes into place and will split them up.  My daughter is 1-2 years younger than the majority of them, so she knows what this means.  This puts her in an odd position, and given different scenarios she could remain on the team, but at the cost of being the super smallest, youngest, and not much playing time.

The bottom picture shows the love and respect they have as a team. Love this!

After having this realization and pity party because I am heartbroken at the thought of leaving this group of kids and parents who have become like family, my growth minded side steps in and says, “You are right.  It will not be the same with any other team.  It wasn’t meant to be the same as this team. This is an opportunity for her to be the leader and develop others like she has received with this team.”

Now the hard part comes – convincing our nine-year-old that if she takes a risk and stays down when everyone moves up, she can be the leader and lead others.  Believe me, if there is anyone who has “leadership skills” it is this girl!!

It’s scary, though.  It’s scary not being with people who you are comfortable with.  It’s scary not doing the thing you have done and filling the role you have filled, the one you fit so perfectly into.  It’s like having your soothing mechanism taken away.  Sound familiar? We’ve all been there, but if we can see the value in developing others and being willing to be developed, we will all learn and grow so much. Easier said than done, right?

I have written about Coach Doug many times and how much we adore him and all he has done to teach these children life lessons.  He has a gift of coaching and teaching.  He has instilled in these girls the LOVE of the game in a world where competitive at a young age is the way people are pushed.  I have never seen a team play as one, truly and utterly sacrificing goals themselves so that they can see every person on the team make one. That is this team, and you know it is because of how they were taught.  There is a special place for Coach Doug in our hearts forever.

Just like Coach Doug did for his team, we as educators need to do the same for our teams.  We need to seek out those students with leadership skills. Show them how to use these to do amazing things. We need to seek out those teachers with leadership skills and build this capacity in our schools.
I will leave you with this final thought.  What are we waiting for?

Author: Bridget Visser

I am a passionate educator advocating for ALL Children! Love all things around Student Voice, Literacy, Technology, Innovation, Student Design, and Empowering Others in positive ways! I am a learner, energized by connecting with other educators sharing their learning!