My son is a sports fanatic but his ADHD makes it difficult for him to concentrate in team sports and he becomes frustrated at constantly being told to sit, focus, pay attention, etc. The frustration for me is that Eph is really a natural at sports – all sports. He runs fast (and far), kicks hard (and straight), has a power throw (he’s a lefty) and he is essentially fearless and loves to feel the joy of a win.
This past Sunday, our church held a really neat clinic with two (new) players from the Columbus Crew MLS soccer team. What was so neat about it was that there were only about 45 kids in attendance and they divided them up into 3 groups. There was no competition, just two hours of fun honing in on the basic skills of soccer with two young professional players.
These young men are just starting out their professional soccer careers and they probably could have been doing something really cool but instead they chose to come out and hang with a small group of kids. Between the skill sessions each of them shared a little about their game and a lot about their faith. Eph sat in rapt attention as they spoke and he was awed at these everyday superstars who came out to kick the ball around with him.
I should mention, there were no marketing folks, no tv/radio crews, just two guys who love Jesus, play professional soccer and wanted to share their time with 45 kids on a Sunday evening. It was really an exceptional experience. The guys were so laid back and when they addressed the kids they would look at their name tags and call them by name.
Here is a picture of Eph getting ready to play “sharks and minnows” with #24 Ben Sippola.
Here is a short video of Eph taking a shot against #27 Aaron Horton
And lastly getting an autograph from Aaron.
For these two young men this might have just been a fun way to spend a Sunday evening but for my kid, it was a chance to see that anyone can shine when given the opportunity.
Thanks Ben & Aaron for taking the time out to be a superstar for my kid! It is greatly appreciated. I pray that God continues to bless both of you in your professional careers and continues to protect you from injury and harm.