Saturday, June 13, 2009

What's your goal in life?

Getting up at 4.30 in the morning is probably not most children's idea of fun. But if you're into baseball in Japan, that's the time you get up for the early morning practices. Thankfully none of our boys have so far chosen baseball as their sport. Calum is into football, has joined a local team, and goes along to practices four times a week - at more civilised times than baseball! Today he was taking part in a tournament - starting at 7:30 on Saturday morning! There is so much you can learn just by observing team sports in Japan. Loyalty and commitment is important; playing your part in the team is important; respect is important, for your own team's coaches, for the other team, for the referee. There is a lot of bowing - at the beginning of the match, at the end of the match, to your own team's coaches, to the other team, to the cheering parents. All in all a rich cultural experience. Certainly the training is hard work. And at times it may become too all-consuming. But there is much that is instilled in the children that is good and of value. Think about it - loyalty and commitment; playing your part in the team; respect - are these not values we should treasure too? Maybe they are too easily lost when the focus turns primarily to self.

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