At one of our after-school sites last week, we had two amazing South African visitors join us — Thabiso and his friend, Njabulo, — courtesy of Coach Irene. These men are incredibly passionate about coaching, which they do back in SA, in rugby and soccer. They were eager to spend time with youth in the US, and after an afternoon together with our girls, left us with a few thoughtful messages. One lesson goes as follows:
“Forward ever, backward never” is an appropriate metaphor for both sports and in life. It refers to the idea that one must always keep their energy forward, to control what they can, and goal-set in productive ways. Looking backward leads to feelings of resentment and helplessness. And in sports, looking backward can, quite literally, be the cost of the game.
And when we asked the girls what they thought of their guest coaches that day, here were some of their words:
“I have to go to South Africa now!”
“I like the energy they brought. They made every exercise fun and exciting”
“They made everyone feel good for just trying.”
“I like their accents. They sound British. It made me want to listen.”
“Coach Irene is so cool to travel the world to meet coach Thabs and Coach Jabz. I want to travel the world now too.”
“Meeting people from a different culture was so fun. I knew nothing about South Africa and now I know their language and how they dance!”
AREN’T SPORTS THE BEST?!?!? So. much. learning.
Thank you Thabiso, Njabulo, and Irene for your passion and dedication to young people!! We appreciate all you have to give 🙂