How do we use our talents and gifts to Always Play 4 Each Other?
This lesson is at the core of APIVEO. The goal is to demonstrate that “Always Playing 4 Each Other” is an intentional effort in that we use our gifts to help others achieve something. “Always Play 4 Each Other” is not the same as simply letting others go first and putting you second. Instead, your purpose is specifically to benefit someone else and that takes effort regardless of where you may end up. The following dialog will demonstrate this concept in a fun and engaging way.
Coach: “Can anyone give me examples of Always Playing 4 Each Other?”
The team will offer a multitude of examples. During the discussion, provide positive feedback to encourage and facilitate a conversation.
Coach: “I’m going to show you what Always Play 4 Each Other looks like”.
Select a player to stand up next to you (be sure the player is shorter than you and light enough for you to lift up). Note: I always use my own child for this lesson. If it is someone other than your own child, you may want to speak with the parents or guardians of that child first.
Coach: “I want you to look very closely at both of us. Can you tell me who is taller?”
The team will obviously pick you.
Coach: “Right, great job. That was easy.”
Now, crouch down so that you are shorter than the player you are standing with.
Coach: “Now who‘s taller?”
They will all say that the player is now taller. At this point you will stand back up and scratch your head in complete confusion.
Coach: “Really? I didn’t see (player’s name) grow. Did you? Is (player’s name) taller now?
Now lift the player up so that he/she is now physically taller than you while you are holding him/her in the air.
Coach: “Now who’s taller?”
The team will see that the player is now actually taller than you and they will laugh and answer with excitement.
Coach: “That’s absolutely correct! (Player’s name) is now taller than me.”
Put the player down and explain what they just saw.
Coach: “(Player’s name) was taller than me because I did something for him/her. God gave me height and strength, and I used both of those gifts to put (Player’s name) in a place (he/she) could not get to on (his/her) own. Before, when I crouched down, all I did was give something up and made myself short, which didn’t help (Player’s name) or me. But, by using and sharing my gifts with (Players name), together, we achieved something even bigger. That’s what it means to Always Play 4 Each Other. Bring it and share it!”
Take a few moments to access comprehension and answer questions. Then move on to a summary statement or prayer that references and reinforces this lesson.
Reaffirm the APIVEO commitment with the team cheer.
Coach: “OK…are you ready. I want everyone in the town to hear us.”
Start the cheer in a normal tone and get louder each time you ask the question.
Coach: “Always play for who?”
Team “Each other!”
Coach: (louder) “ALWAYS PLAY FOR WHO?”
Team: (louder) “EACH OTHER!”
Coach: (really loud!) “ALWAYS PLAY FOR WHO?”
Team: (screaming loud!) “EACH OTHER!”
Coach: Stand up with authority and yell “[TEAM NAME] ROCK!”
Following the cheer, I will always talk to each player after every practice to thank them for “bringing it” to practice. This only takes 10-15 seconds per player, but is worth its weight in gold. There are a few players that will be headed for the parking lot before the cheer is done so you must be intentional and act fast. I typically get right in front of the player and, then, get on one knee, look him/her in the eye and mention something positive about his/her performance in practice and how glad I am that he/she is part of our team. You need to be quick to respect the parent’s time, but you also need to be sincere.
Be intentional and remember, Always Play 4 Each Other!™
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