The Heart of Champions

We witnessed some beautiful lessons this week during a state all-star T-ball tournament. Even though some of the tiny teams were not victorious as to the score, each of them were winners. No losers dimmed the shine at this event.

Our family was among those celebrating the championship with awards for MVP and team sportsmanship. And it’s always a wonderful thing to win. But even more important than winning this time, were the principles practiced in the process.

You would have been proud of all several hundred of these six-year-old athletes.

They gave the games their all and seemed determined to please their coaches and we fans. They honored the referees’ decisions and they focused on the goal of personal best for the team’s sake. They took a knee when any player was injured and they shook hands as both the victors and the defeated. And some shed tears at the loss.

We watched the losers learn from their experience and return with a more determined attitude to win. And we watched them never give up. They played with heart to the end.

The young boys were privy to watching adults compliment their team’s opponents for a game well-played or children well-coached. Families modeled togetherness as they cleaned up the dugouts and the seating areas so the next group could enjoy fresh surroundings. And with each game played, little boys took another step forward into manhood.

This tournament demonstrated the results of patience, hard work, practice, team play, fair competition, firm guidance and family support.

And as we saw it, every child was a champion.

Game on!

Chase Wesley Anello

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