As I was coming back from the MAS soccer tournament in Yonkers last night, I was thinking of what happened is this tournament. The last time I was in Yonkers playing this tournament, we went home with the trophy. There was a team that we hardly allowed in due to their age. These were the MAS Youth team from Yonkers. They insisted in playing and we insisted that they may get hurt. We also said that there is so many programs and events for the youth and we, adults, deserve some peaceful adults-only event.
I have to be proud to say I have lobbied the organizers to allow these guys in (as I was the youth director at the time and these guys were my favorites). The organizers were those whom we call “MAS Youth Uncles” who were probably as caring for those youth as I was and they approved them in. This youth team really lost badly (if I remember correctly, all the games and they had no chance to win). I, as well as others, was teasing them and making fun of them not to play again with the “big boys” 🙂
In the second tournament they joined, they were an impressive team who did not really make it to a high rank in the finals but impressed everyone by how organized and zealous to win they were.
In the past tournament of yesterday’s, they surprised everyone. They defeated most of the teams* and they transformed their defeat into victory in all the games. They won the trophy after going through the best two teams in the tournament. From a complete defeat in the first tournament, to impressive looking team with high potential in the second, to the trophy winners in one the of the toughest tournaments yesterday, they really deserve the victory and they deserve enjoying the trophy.
As we, the adults, know how much bragging they will make in front of us and how much hard time they will give us making fun of us, we were all cheering for them even against our own teams. Poor fathers who have some of these in their household will have to suffer from this until the next tournament. 🙂
Read this reflection of mine again but read it while replacing the word “soccer” with “life.” We really need to give a chance to these young people. They will have to mingle with us and take serious responsibilities. They will have to organize themselves and come forward to prove themselves as the leaders of their communities. If you happen to be in a position of interacting with young people, know that the potential in front of you is tremendous and it is you who will empower these people to show their skills, talent, and effort. Do not deprive them or yourself from the chance.
I wish this team that I am proud of use this analogy to show leadership in life as they did in soccer.
One last message that I cannot close the post without (that is me I am sorry), I would like you guys (MAS Youth Yonkers) to enjoy the victory as much as you can because the next lesson for you will be “how to overcome defeat” when I am done with you in the next tournament. But for now, enjoy the well-deserved trophy
* the only team they have not defeated was the team which has the dad of three of them which makes me thing of sending a complaint to the FIFA 🙂