Small acts can have a big impact.
Brady has been playing soccer for many years and has become a very good player. This year he joined a new team, actually playing up a year at U12 (he’s 10). He had a great season, and was rewarded by his coaches with the game ball at the end of the season, for his sportsmanship and leadership.
We have a mantra we repeat before every practice and game:
Me: Who are you going to be today?
Brady: The guy who works the hardest.
We also emphasize team. It’s not about him, or scoring, or being a star; it’s about being a team player.
In one of the last games of the season, Brady’s team was easily winning; up by 7 or 8 goals. He had scored a goal and assisted on two more. Late in the game Brady was driving toward the goal and took a shot. A defender stopped the shot–with his hand. Brady was awarded a penalty kick, and a chance for his second goal of the game.
When his coach asked if he wanted to take the shot, Brady told him, “Coach, Peyton hasn’t scored a goal this year; why don’t we let him take the penalty kick?”
Peyton took the shot and scored his first goal ever. It was wonderful seeing the joy and excitement on his face. His father wrote a message to the team, thanking them for their role in helping Peyton grow throughout the season. He concluded with this: “the memory I will always have is when he smiled big after his penalty kick.”
Sometimes serving others means giving up an opportunity for personal glory, so someone else can shine.