Spain Update #12 July 3, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day 12

The clinic in this town went well today.  We are still working to build relationships with the kids and the coaches.  The clinic gained 2 more kids as the total rose to 42 kids and it began with a very good sportsmanship thought that encouraged teamwork and to see the value of all who are on the team.  Overall, the kids have been really been responding well to the sportsmanship thoughts that we have been bringing to them so far.  After the first day, there was already one kid who stopped to help someone up!  Today, the number of kids who were helping others up and showing great sportsmanship increased from yesterday and it’s still only the second day!  It’s great to see how receptive the kids are and how supportive the host coaches are.  In fact, it was on Monday that the head host coach, who has the majority of players in attendance, stopped a drill that was going on and reminded the kids of what they were just taught, reinforcing how important it is to help someone up!  We have not yet seen that level of ownership and investment on the coaches’ part to be so active in helping us teach sportsmanship.  It has been a true blessing to see how quickly the kids and the host coaching staff have taken to what we are teaching.

Overall, the fundamentals are good, but it appears that the kids could gain value from game play and low post work.  Noticing that, we have spent concentrated time helping the kids play a smoother game and develop their low post moves, preparing them for better overall game play.  It’s so exciting for the Push the Rock coaches when the kids we are working with to learn or develop a skill work hard and have success.  That success generates excitement and the excitement spurns others on to also achieve the success.  It’s a great cycle that the breeds skill growth and strengthens relationships.  The love of Christ continues to be shown as the coaches work and work and work with a player until s/he sees success.

The evening brought both a women’s game and a men’s game.  The women’s game was a little more formal as they played against a team the consisted mostly of girls who play in a neighbor town.  Some have played together and some have were invited to help round out the team.  The Push the Rock team got off to a slow start, but as the game progressed, they were playing well together.  The local team did very well and they gave Push the Rock the opportunity to continue to share the love of Christ through teamwork, encouragement of each other, and good sportsmanship.  The game ended in favor of the local team allowing them to be kind and gracious hosts.

The men’s game was a little less formal as the host coaches pulled together a group of his friends to play the Push the Rock men’s team.  There were even a few of the boys from clinic on the team and they enjoyed playing against the Push the Rock team.  The Push the Rock team came out slowly and was down double figures early in the game.  It didn’t take long for the rally to begin and the Push the Rock team came back to tie.  Taking the lead, they saw it grow and then back to being behind by a few.  The score was a close seesaw all night until the final buzzer.  With one second to go, the host team took a shot to tie the game.  The ball bounced on the front of the rim, over to the side of the rim and then out, allowing the PTR team to win by two.  Both teams enjoyed the time together and were able to begin to get to know each other a bit.  The game was a great ministry opportunity for the PTR team and will continue to serve as a method of reaching out to the community.

A late night supper cooked for us gave us a chance to wind down and fill our stomachs, preparing for another day tomorrow.  With temperatures in the low 80’s and breezes off the ocean, it has been a good week so far.  The cool breeze makes the heat bearable and allows for cool nights and great sleeping weather.  The windows are open as the coolness of night woos our weary bodies to sleep.  Just as there are many open windows in this town, we are praying that the hearts of those around us would also open up to the love of Christ Jesus and His saving grace.

Encouraged by your prayers,

Coach Brendan

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