Jonathan the overcomer
“Here we go again” I thought to myself, “here comes the meltdown”. The Casa Hogar Douglas soccer team was down by 3. The other team was running circles around them. I had seen this before, time and time again. I braced myself, expecting the worst: gloves off, angry scowl, angry words, sitting on the ground, turning on each other, a brutal loss. That was the way it usually went.
Kids from hard places struggle to control and understand their emotions and losing can be a hard thing to overcome for any kid. Jonathan in particular is what many would call an “overachiever”. He likes to do his best always and hates when he can’t be perfect. Normally, with each goal scored by the opposing team, his self-esteem would crumble and inevitably turn into a fit on the ground right in the middle of the game. He would just give up. That’s what I was bracing myself for… the inevitable meltdown.
But this time something different happened.
As the referee called half time, Jonathan called all the boys over. Six months ago Jonathan moved into the Back2Back Hope Program and joined the Back2Back soccer team. He’s been learning about teamwork and sportsmanship and growing in his confidence and self esteem through mentorship by his coaches and house parents. So, as the whistle blew, I saw something different in his eyes. He called the team into a huddle. “Alright guys” he began “we are down right now but I know we can do this. Jose – you move up a little. Victor – make sure you’re watching the right side of the goal. I know if we work together we can win this.” His words inspired and encouraged the other boys. They have always looked to him as a leader. They ran out onto the field with new confidence. They looked like a different team out there and quickly scored 6 goals to win the game by 3.
Jonathan is growing in confidence each day and through opportunities like the Back2Back soccer program he can continue to grow and develop in all areas of his life. We can’t wait to see where he will go in life… the possibilities are endless.
Story by: Back2Back staff member
P.S. This is what happens when I presented our Los Dos team with their new and very own branded jerseys. Pandemonium. So Sweet and exciting.