As the new Head Coach I noticed there was a lack of community among the team. The kids told me they felt like the word “club” was more fitting than “team” in terms of chemistry—or lack thereof.
In order to make our time more intentional, we have been starting every climbing practice with discussing a “daily word” to get the kids mentally active before adding the obvious physical component. This is typically something positive and motivating to get their minds right before getting out onto the walls or boulder problems, but we are also unafraid of delving into words or subjects with more negative connotations—such as apathy, fear, and similar words—to cover ground that we know these kids are battling outside of the gym.
They need to know how far their worth goes beyond how they may feel viewed at school, or their athletic ability among fellow teammates. They need to be able to push past those lies, and I have found climbing to be a beneficial forum to practice winning those personal battles—for kids and adults alike. It has been extremely rewarding to watch a few key influencers rise up and slowly take on more and more responsibility as they get more excited about the team mission. My prayer is that the climbers take what they are learning at practice at The Edge and begin to apply it to areas of need elsewhere, to develop as people of integrity elevating the standard and attitude of their communities wherever they go.