A dozen girls from the CSC Inferno were tie-dying t-shirts in my driveway last weekend.
This weekend, they recorded their sixth win in as many games. They’re undefeated in the division of the Old Dominion Soccer League.
Now, I’m not taking credit for those wins. But I do know that bonding as a team off the playing field is essential for girls to trust each other on the field. A lot has been written about cliques and alpha girls and general exclusiveness by girls toward other girls. It happens. And it happens on their athletic teams. But, to play as a team, they have to overcome these barriers. The best way I know to help them do that is to provide a place for them to get to know each other off the field. They discover…
Yeah, you’re not the best shooter, but you helped me figure out what colors to use on my shirt and it came out great.
Yeah, you’re not the fastest kid out there, but you shared the last piece of pizza when you knew I hadn’t had one yet.
Yeah, you’re new on the team, but come on and put your handprint in. We’re a team and we’re in this together.
And the fun didn’t stop when the tie-dying and eating was over.
They moved on to group jump-roping, then sidewalk chalk handprints which started on the driveway and ended up all over their arms and legs. This, of course, led to group photos with the potential for Facebook profile pictures.
That’s the thing kids learn about teams; everybody has something to contribute. Sometimes it’s harder to see on the playing field than on the driveway. It’s why playing in both places makes teams winning teams.
Instead of extensive travel, restaurants and hotel accommodations, maybe we’d be better off investing in fabric dye, some cotton t-shirts and some backyard games. Don’t forget the pizza and lemonade and toss in a pan of rice krispie treats for good measure.