Bottom of the 9th, #15 - Learning to Lead

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Bottom of the 9th - Learning to Lead

Learning to Lead

by Brice Schiano

Freshman; Catcher; Valor Christian High School

   About five years ago, I was playing for the Yankees, a Little League team in Orlando, Florida. In that short fall season, I was changed. At the first practice, the team looked like the Bad News Bears. Coach Branche took me aside after the practice and told me that he was going to make me team captain. I honestly did not think I was the right guy for the job at the time. I prayed about it, because I had no idea how to lead a team. God put it on my heart that the best way to lead was by setting a good example. I would set the tone for every game and practice. 

   I put forth all of my effort into that team. At games and practices, I would always run to where I was going. I never walked when given instruction, never put others down, never sat while in the dug out. Energy was important, and every moment of the game, I kept my energy up and encouraged others to do the same. It was not always easy. Not everyone picked up on my efforts, but slowly a change began to happen. This change was not universal. There were those who didn’t understand the importance of being a team. However, as more and more of my teammates started following the example and setting one of their own, big things began to happen and in return the rest of the players put in all their effort as well. I led by example on and off the field, others followed suite, and our team turned into a brotherhood. By the end of the season, we played the game in a way no other team did. We did it by executing the simple plays and getting outs when we needed them. At the same time, we had fun! 

   Toward the end of our season, I broke two fingers and couldn’t play for a while. I came to the games and when I heard cheering coming from out of the dugout, and heard my team lifting one another up, I realized they had all become leaders. My presence wasn’t necessary any more to achieve the same success. 

   We were a team and we were brothers – all of us leaders in the end. We went to the county championship. We lost that game, after an eight game winning streak, but leadership had still had its affect. I have had great examples of leadership in my life, especially from my parents. It is less about the words that are spoken and more about the action that is taken.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1

     A leader can come from anywhere, even a small seventy nine pound boy. I was a leader by example, being the best I could be, and in return everyone else copied. Anyone on that team could have been a leader, as long as you lead by the best example possible. It’s just like following the example of Christ.

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