It’s the time of year when many kids are pulling on jerseys with numbers and heading out onto fields as part of a team. Being a part of a sports team was one of the best things I did as a kid. All the “good” that comes from team membership continued to be true for me through college: feeling a part of something bigger; learning how to communicate, support, and work with others; and often becoming friends with people who I might not otherwise have known. These social learnings were key, and translated well to classroom, family, and eventually, office settings.
Fast forward, I am a mom on the sidelines cheering on my daughters who play sports, and am happy that they do. But for years when people asked my son what he plays, his answer was – and is – “drums.” When his friends head to soccer practice, he heads to the School of Rock and takes his seat behind a drum kit. The great thing about this program is that, in addition to individual music instruction, the kids play together as a band. They work together with a show director for a season, then put on a show, on a stage, often in a rock club. In the process they are a part of something bigger; they are learning how to communicate, support, and work with others; and often become friends with people who they might not otherwise have known.
Now there’s no a-ha moment here — just a little reminder for those of us who may have grown up loving sports, see the value of a team experience for our kids, and worry when they don’t readily take to the field. The opportunities are many, whether it’s sports or theater or math or music, “teams,” and the great parts of being part of one, can be found in a wide range of settings. -t