We once asked a longtime Cabbage Patch member what first drew him to our programs. He said his grandmother was looking for a safe place for him to play and learn, but all he needed to hear was that there was a gym where he could play basketball.
Playing sports in a supervised environment facilitates more than just practicing the mechanics of the game. When children are provided with structure and boundaries, they develop a sense of sportsmanship that serves them well in other areas of life. They learn flexibility when asked to function in different roles on a team. Confidence is built when their peers congratulate them on a great play. They understand perseverance when they are asked to play again, even though their last performance wasn’t great. These lessons provide a foundation for engaging in other programs like education, visual and performing arts and outdoor adventures. We call it learning, they call it fun!
For children who are drawn to us because of sports, there are usually other doors to open. The Cabbage Patch staff members take a proactive approach to help children step outside their comfort zone and try new activities. For that longtime Patch member who just wanted to play basketball, this has meant participation in 100 mile biking and camping trips, leadership development activities and working as a Counselor in Training with our summer camps. To think it all started with basketball!
What can you do when you step outside your comfort zone?