I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July and were able to celebrate the Holiday with family and friends while focusing on more of the things we have in common than the things many outlets suggest divide us.
While our varsity players continue with their summer OTAs and the process of working through the Norming Stage of Tuckman’s Model, the next generation of football players in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom recently joined together to participate in the Hilltopper Youth Football Camp.
In a Fall 2018, blog post, I shared the historic rivalry between St Johnsbury Academy and Lyndon Institute. Our rivalry is one of the oldest in the nation and it runs deep through the families who have been living in this area for generations. But for one week this summer, boys from St Johnsbury’s youth football program, the Rodliff Raiders, and those from the Lyndon Vikings youth program came together as teammates and friends. Kids from both towns did not look at each other as “them” but rather as “us.” That which could have so easily divided us was set aside for a greater good; for teamwork, camaraderie, and mutual benefit.
Team sports (football in particular), provide a prime opportunity for youth to work together, rely on each other and interact with teammates from a variety of backgrounds regardless of their perceived differences. By the end of the week, we saw rivals become best friends, forging potentially lifelong relationships.
A child’s social circles have an impact on their identity perspectives. Being a part of a diverse group of friends, prepares kids to deal with people who may not share the same background or perspective. When one thinks about all the different seats in a sports stadium, and all the potential angles of view, it really is true to say “Where you sit determines what you see.” Youth sports are a great way for children to expand and diversify their social circles, creating opportunities to view the game of life from different seats, with different views.
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!