Tonight my family finished its basketball season as my husband coached both our kids’ park district teams.
Every Sunday afternoon, for the last two months, along with 50 other parents and family members, I jammed inside gyms watching my 9-year-olds, cheering them on as they would defend their basket and try to score some buckets of their own.
When you have that kind of diversity in one room, you’re bound to encounter someone who rubs you the wrong way. And if you’re lucky like me, you may even find a handful. Ha!
But what I’ve learned over the years, as my kids have participated in a variety of sports, with many of the same children, is to keep the big picture in mind. A lot of times, who was once their opponent, now is their teammate. So that annoying parent on the other team now becomes my comrade, my fellow cheerleader.
It’s been these youth sports in a tight-knit community like ours that has given me the opportunity to put into practice what Greg Duncan has taught (through his words and through his example) over the years.
Along with his wife, Laurie, Greg has grown one of the most successful businesses with Amway through the World Wide DreamBuilders (WWDB) organization. And one of the pieces that has helped create their own organization’s longstanding strength: Greg’s passionate belief in preserving relationships.
When I first became aware of this core value of his, it annoyed me and I questioned the value of not “writing people off.” I knew enough not to broadcast to the whole world when I would sever ties, but Greg was actually saying to take active steps to maintain relationships that could best be described, on a good day, as struggling. To persevere to preserve.
As the lesson took hold with me, I imagined that the lesson would be driven home by more “important” relationships with my family and friends. But it’s been through participating as a parent these last three years in youth sports, and interacting with acquaintances, that I have had much more practice in witnessing the value of taking Greg’s advice.
Now, with the conclusion of basketball, softball and baseball season is only a few short weeks away. My kids have already begun gearing up, ignoring the freezing temperatures and gusty winds to begin playing catch in the park.
And as for me, I am ready too—whatever, and whomever, the rosters bring our way.