Below is a note, that I received last spring that I wanted to share. It was a huge encouragement to me in that the community is taking note of the difference in our students. That is a huge mission field for us as a school and a prayer of mine, that the community sees a difference in us in how we handle ourselves. If it is not noticeable than we are no different and we lose our testimony. It is our chance to witness to other schools and the community in Panama. This is also why I am so thankful for coaches that love on our players and speak into their lives.
I'm writing in great appreciation of the work I see you doing with the sports program at CCA. I've worked and coached at ISP for two years now and whether you remember me or not is not important. I leave Panama for good in three weeks and I felt I needed to write in applause of a program that I think is being run the right way. I fully applaud you, your staff, and your kids in the collective approach that CCA makes in sports.
Our JV team played your JV team this past Monday. I'm embarrassed to say that we won something like 9-1. If anything, I'd like to apologize. But what I did say to my kids at halftime was to take a look around. I wanted them to take note of our opposition. Your kids weren't complaining, asking to give-up, imploding, losing their cool, or otherwise embarrassing themselves on the pitch. I don't know that my team reacts in the same professional manner when the shoe is on the other foot. Luckily, this "learning moment" allowed a number of my kids, not all, to learn something about sportsmanship. It's one step at a time, and this definitely helped me teach something valuable.
I hope for this letter to validate the work of you and your kids. Sports, particularly youth sports, are meant to teach ethics, teamwork, camaraderie, and fair play. Winning gives us a reason to play. Unfortunately the winning is all too often what sports are about, here in Panama, in the US, and around the globe. I'm impressed to say that your program, at least in my humble assessment, values all that which are important. Your kids are headed for a bright future with the lessons you've taught.