Friday, August 24, 2012

Who Is The Greatest Among You?

This morning we had our second preseason workout of the year.  Yesterday afternoon our team ran a timed mile followed by an hour long "heavy" lifting session in the weight room.  Our second day of preseason was this morning at 6:30am.  As you can expect there was a lot of soreness and fatigue once this morning's workout got started.  Coach Schaefer, who lead the workout, asked the players to do a combination of jumping rope (double-unders) and sit-ups.  The timed workout consisted of doing 50 double-unders followed by 50 sit-ups, 40 double-unders followed by 40 sit-ups, 30 double-unders followed by 30 sit-ups and then 20 of each and 10 of each.  This was a timed task to see who could finish in the least amount of time.  Each member of our team was partnered with someone else who would encourage them along with holding their feet during the sit-ups.  While this was a challenging workout, I didn't expect a leadership lesson, team building lesson along with a spiritual lesson to come out of it.  Let me explain.

About half way through the workout, Jane Morrill's shoe came untied (while she was jumping rope).  I kept watching as she completed her jumps and immediately went down to the floor for her set of sit-ups.  One of our freshmen, Xena King was holding her feet during the sit-ups and without saying a word Xena started tieing Jane's shoe.  Within a few minutes Hanna Qedan was jumping rope and the same thing happened.  Her shoe came untied and while she went into her sit-ups another freshman, Jessica Flanery started tieing her shoe.  I couldn't help but smile as this took place.  Remember, this task was timed so none of our players wanted to stop their workout and waste time tieing their shoe.
This occurrence took place at least two more times (that I saw).  I noticed, senior, Andi Watson tieing the shoe of newcomer Carlette Wyatt and I also observed senior Q. McDowell tieing the shoe of newcomer Carlisha Wyatt.  I also observed, senior, Ashley Olvera, who was the first person finished with the task walk across the weight room (once she finished) to get her water bottle and also to take a water bottle to freshman Sandy Jackson, who was just starting her workout.  Keep in mind, Ashley was exhausted from just finishing her set.  I also saw Hanna Qedan finish her exercise and go get water bottles for three of her teammates.
We met as a team after the workout and I told the players that there was a great lesson learned (unintentionally) in the weight room just now.  Well, two lessons, the first being we apparently need better shoe strings.  The second is that I reminded them that to be a great leader you must first . . . become a servant.
To get on the floor to tie someones shoe is taking on a servants mentality.  To take water to a teammate is to take on a servants mentality.  I touched on the spiritual message too in that repeatedly The Bible discusses taking on the role of a servant.  Afterwards I had to do my research to find examples. In Mark 9: 33-37 the disciples were arguing over who was the greatest among them and Jesus made it very clear by saying "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."  Mark 10: 45 says "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."  John 13: 1-15 tells about Jesus washing his Disciples' feet.  He says in verses 14 - 15 "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one anothers feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you."

Of course Jesus didn't tie the Adidas running shoes of his Disciples but you can see where I'm going with this right?  I'm excited about this team and it really gets me fired up to see them (on their own) taking on a servants mentality for one another.  A 6:30am jump rope and sit-up exercise turned into a great team building lesson, a lesson on leadership and also a spiritual lesson.

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