In this story, Coach Campbell helps Bobby overcome his concerns about joining a team for the first time.
Hey there Bobby. What’s up? How ya’ doing?
Oh, not much…but, well, you know how you were talking to us last week about joining a team?
Well, there is a team I want to join, but I am kinda’ nervous about it.
Well, that is totally understandable.
Sure it is. I mean, you have never been on a team before. So many new things to deal with, like meeting new kids, new adults, going to practices, the list goes on. But, none of these things are too big for you to handle. In fact, you have already done these things before.
Yes, you have. Maybe you don’t remember your first time here at the Can Do Rec Center, but I sure do. You were a real wall-flower. You came in, quiet as a church mouse, not getting too far from the nearest wall, and just watching everything with real big eyes. I could tell you were a bit nervous, but that didn’t stop you from coming in, and taking a look around.
Oh yeah, I remember. Yeah, I was nervous. Everyone knew everybody, and you were pretty scary. Biggest person I ever saw up close.
Coach Campbell laughs….
Yeah, well…look at you now. You walk around this place like you own it. You know everybody, everybody knows you, and you are so over being nervous around me! If you could do it then, you can do it now. Now, here are some tips to help you out. First, be sure to listen to your coach. Be coachable.
Yeah, that means being able to listen to your coaches, and try your hardest to do what they are trying to teach you, the way they are teaching you to do it. It is probably the most important key to being successful on a team. Believe me, I am a coach a long time now, and there is nothing I like better than a kid who listens and works hard.
What if I am not that good at what they want me to do?
Don’t worry; most kids aren’t very good at first. Yeah, there will be some kids that are better than you right now, but don’t let that discourage you. You just keep doing the work, and you will get there. The coaches will recognize that effort, and appreciate it. I say it all the time as a coach, hard work beats talent that doesn’t work. It will take some time, but it is true. Hard work is what it takes to get better.
OK, but what if I don’t make any friends?
Oh, I am not worried about that, not at all. You will make friends, just like you did here. Don’t get me wrong, you may not become friends with every kid on the team. Heck, you might not even like every kid on the team. But, you don’t have to. You will make friends though, and I bet you some of them will be your friends for a real long time.
Remember, you are not the only one that is a bit nervous, and wants to make friends. In the time before, and after practice, you will get to know some kids. You will get to talking, and well, before you know it, you have some new friends.
So, you gonna’ go out for that team?
YEAH! I am going to go there today.
Super deal; let me know how it goes, OK?
You bet Coach. Thanks.
Story by: Ned Campbell, coach and teacher in Brooklyn, NY. He is the voice of Coach Campbell in the “Can Do” Street programs.
Parent Note: Coach Campbell has a post for parents on this same subject at http://candostreet.com/blog-parents/