Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ike Ditzenberger

Ike Ditzenberger is like a lot of other 17-year-old American football players. He dreams of playing college football. He attends daily practices. Most of the time he toils away in offensive drills. Then, on rare occasions, Ditzenberger runs into the limelight with aplomb. The description could fit thousands of American teenagers, except for one crucial detail: Ike Ditzenberger has Down Syndrome.
http://rivals.yahoo.com/highschool/blog/prep_rally/post/Down-syndrome-football-player-scores-TD-in-Washi?urn=highschool-272803

As a leader, you may have several "Ikes" on your team.  People who may not have all the skills, but their heart is in what they do.  They are not your starters, your star quarterbacks, but they are there every day, with their equipment on.
A coach alone cannot make a moment like this happen.  But he has tremendous influence over the team that rallies around this young man.  And in the course of how this team supports Ike, a rival team allowed him to have his moment to shine.  And as all these young men showed such kindness, every one who watches this truly tender moment cannot help but be touched by the generosity and character of these teams.
Your question then is, will you rally your team to support the non-all star players, or will you keep "Ike" on the bench?

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