My daughter is one serious basketball player. She lives and breathes it. She is playing on a spring/summer league and this weekend was the first weekend that I was actually able to attend one of her games. She has played six games already this season. Total mom guilt.
I enjoy watching her play, I love the hustle and laser focus. I love the determination she has and even more than that, I love seeing her learn; watching her use her intuition. Today, I broadened my view and focused on her basketball team practice–something new for me.
The way these girls worked together as a team inspired me. Without so much as a glance, the girls knew when a pass was coming their way–their communication was just that good. They knew when to be at a certain spot and when to reach out their hands to catch the ball–seriously–sometimes without even looking. There were a couple of times one teammate needed to hold the other accountable for not holding to the rhythm that the team has set. Basketball is both game and song, and when another player get off beat, the other teammate would raise her eyebrows as if to say, “be there,” and the other girls would nod. Back on beat. Just like in games, in live we need girlfriends who hold us accountable. Relationships where there is no shame, just fluid movements together.
It’s a beautiful thing when females work together. Collaboration over competition. Yes, yes, I wanted my daughter’s team to win….I have, on occasion, let the emotion of competition get the best of me. (I’m only human! And they are such a solid, supportive team!) But, once again, when we widen our focus and look at all females, the whole, collaboration over competition idea is more than just for young students, is pretty profound. It makes us a team, not just as supportive women of a certain team, but as a league of women, mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, daughters. All of us working together as one.
We tend to think that we are against each other, but the reality is one girl’s win doesn’t make another girl less. We all know as adults that one girl’s size 8 does not make another’s size 14 less. Appearance is certainly not everything. And in work, one woman’s promotion does not make her coworker less.
Every promotion advances us all.
All people are stronger working together as a team than apart. We can work together not only to bring acceptance to all body types, but to ensure that body types aren’t the first, second, or even third most important think about a strong women. In fact, it’s dead last. If we break the ties that create unnecessary competition between smart women, we will break glass ceilings, advance under developed countries, and do hard work so together we can celebrate the sisterhood of females everywhere.
Together, gets us Harriet Tubman on the $20.00 bill. (Update! We did it! She’s going to be printed on the $20.00!) Together, gets us Susan B. Anthony and a team of women who fought for women’s suffrage on the back on the $10.00, it also got us the right to vote. Women are as large a part of this country’s history as any man, and we have the right to celebrate them and their accomplishments.
So, here is the thing, let’s start teaching our girls to come together. Even if she doesn’t love traditional sports teams, there are ways using her unique skills and abilities to teach all young women the amazing things that can happen when we work together. Just be together. That’s half the battle! If we can get girls communicating as well as the girls on my daughter’s basketball team, the world is heading in a better place than the news would have you believe. Mutual support creates grace. Then it creates peace and it creates unity. When all females work for the betterment of others, we ALL move up. Girls, AND boys.
At the end of my daughter’s basketball game, which they lost despite their best efforts and a game well played, they circled up in the middle of the court. They regrouped as a solid unit, then they invited the opposing team to join them. Together, they prayed. Together, it is the only way up. Together, we make progress.