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Rite Of Passage

It's not about trophies, or winning or even stylie points. It's all about the kids, another brother further. The sport court is the place in the community where the kids learn how to play and work things out amongst themselves. It's an open door and everyone is welcome. It happens all the time, there might be a kid who was shy or well guarded by his mother. Some finally hit their growth spurt. They wonder if maybe the day has finally arrived, that they can come and play with their peers. 

It's the same with the little league soccer team. A ten year old kid might think he's ready to play on the little league team. Not just any team, but the best one in the barrio. They wonder if they have what it takes. Every Saturday, the kids wait at the bus stop. As the team van arrives, the group of kids can never wait. When the van gets close, they run. The door slides open and the kids fill the micro bus with righteous vibe. It could be a kids first time to get on the bus with the team. It's an awesome feeling. To be in the same vehicle with the same group that this kid wants to be a part of, all going together in the same direction. Some define this as fellowship. They arrive at the park and the kid gets a uniform handed to him. He puts on the uniform of the team that he's dreamed of playing on for years. Jaime, (pictured) was so excited, he put his jersey on backwards. Either way, it's the same battle tested uniform that has been worn in epic championship games. This is a transcendental moment, all of the sudden the kid becomes part of a larger story. For the first time in his life, the future is wide open and a whole field of possibilities opens up. Then as the kids are warming up, the coach comes around and says something to each individual kid. The new kid wonders what he might say. The coach speaks right to him and lets him know that he is valued and that it is a pleasure to have him as part of the team. The coolest part of all, is that the older group of players, the ones that the new kid wants to be like and to be a part of, take an active part in coaching him up and helping him get better. The result is a series of major life wins that all take place before their first game is ever played.

Odds are pretty high that these kids may some day know what it's like to lift up a championship trophy. Before that ever happens, they learn a lot more about lifting up younger kids that want to be a part of the winning tradition. Another brother further.