Inspired by David

David is a boy on my son's grade-school soccer team.

He is of average height with short dark-brown hair, and very skinny.  He is not the fastest kid on the team, is a so-so ball-handler, and does not kick the ball particularly hard. 

He has not scored one goal this year.

David is also still recovering from an injury--he broke his arm late last year while playing on the playground, and was not sure he would be allowed to participate in soccer this spring.   

What makes David's role on the team special?

He has what coaches diligently seek, but rarely find.  David has "heart."  He is an overachiever.

When on the field, he gives everything he has.  The kid runs everywhere and regularly slides at the out-of-bounds line in attempt to keep the ball in play for his team.

Oddly for someone so young, when the soccer ball seems big and the kids are small, David fearlessly throws his body around to block shots.  On defense, he annoyingly presses attackers on opposing teams until they make a mistake and turn the ball over.

During one exchange at the team's last game, he moved in front of a big-legged opponent who had the ball in an attempt to keep the action on his side of the field.  The opposing player then blasted the ball into David's stomach from about five-yards away.

The "thud" generated when the ball impacted David's chest was loud, but the crowd of parents' chorus of gasps was more shocking. 

David's hands dropped to his knees.  He tried to hold back tears while searching for air.  Despite his pain, the game continued, while the referee ran over to David: "You ok son?"

Just as he asked the question, other players skirmishing over the ball knocked it back to David's feet.   The injured player gritted his teeth, somehow sucked down half a breath, dribbled the soccer ball forward for several yards, and then passed to a teammate--fighting through his pain with each step.

Near the end of the game, with the scored tied 3-3, David came from nowhere, threw his body in front of his goal as a talented scorer for the other team thought for sure he was going to kick the winner.

The rising fast ball struck David in the upper back, and careened out of bounds--he had prevented what looked to be the deciding goal.

Fortunately and at the other end of play, one of David's teammates kicked the winner with 30 seconds left in the contest.  The rest of the team showered the goal-scoring hero with cheers, pats on the back, and high-fives.  David was in the middle of them enjoying the moment, cheering the kid who scored, and smiling for all to see.

After David's fantastic game, I walked over to his mom and passed on my congratulations. I wanted them to know that someone there had recognized his unselfish and uplifting performance--even if he had not scored a goal or an assist.

--------------------

What can be learned from an overachieving nine-year old with "heart?"

In life, both professionally and socially, it is wise to identify and then surround yourself with Davids or the competitor whose gives maximum effort, does not complain, is fearless, and looks for no self-recognition.

Not only will you be able to marvel at the successes of these persons, but you'll find yourself emboldened by their efforts and likely achieve greatness that you had not considered even possible.

41 comments:

Raindog said...

He's the type of person I'd love to have on my team.

Matthew Rush said...

Wonderful story, thanks for sharing Slam. In life and at work and everywhere it is very nice to have a few Davids around. If only there could be more of them.

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
This is a great lesson. What an incredible child with an ardent heart.

Ann T.

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

LOVE this post! As a former soccer player myself (many many years ago), I understand what you mean and can picture David. Awesome job David! Definitely the team MVP!

Momma Fargo said...

What a sweet, heartfelt post! I love it! Very inspiring to adults and kids.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Wow, what a player! My kids were never like that when playing soccer. My four year old daughter(now six) held hands with a boy and they ran around the field like that. They were in love at the time. (it was a short lived romance)

My five year old son (now seven) got distracted by a fly, and wandered off onto another field. The parents watching the other game were certainly entertained.

Yeah, my kids have heart, just not in soccer. ;)

Audrey Allure said...

Wow, that is really inspiring. That is one special kid :)

Alex said...

David's an incredible boy. A young, small boy with a big heart. He gave his all and best to his team.

We adults have a lot to learn from kids like David.

Becky said...

I'm a collector of inspiration! Thanks David and Slam for my morning dose! Truly Inspiring!

torn blazer said...

Great story.....what a wonderful child........I guess he just enjoys what's he's doing

Helen Ginger said...

David, I predict, will go far in life and have great success. That success may be in work, but what will really count will be his success in having friends and joy in life. That's what I think.

Helen
Straight From Hel

LisaF said...

Words seldom fail me, but all I can say to this is, "Wow." Somehow that doesn't seem near enough.

jules said...

David sounds like an inspiration to us all. Thanks for sharing!

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
That is a great story...
Thanks for sharing it.

Have a great weekend.

Clara said...

Omg, I love David! What an incredible kid!

MONICA-LnP said...

great post,sharing this with my kids,thank SD!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

First of all--New Follower! *Waves* And I'm number 150. I LOVE when I get to be a round number.

Second, great post. Thanks so much for sharing this story and this lesson. I really enjoyed it.

Can't wait to get to know you better through your posts. I love connecting with other writers. :)

Elana Johnson said...

I'd definitely like to A) have more David's around and B) become like him.

malone8 said...

Young men like David grow up to be leaders. They are CEO of a flourishing corporation, editor of a noted publishing company, etc. They are also admired by those who work for them.

Thanks for sharing - Maxi

unabridgedgirl said...

Wow! What a great life lesson. Kids always appear to teach me more than I can teach myself. :) Thanks for sharing!

Creepy Query Girl said...

Great post. Very admirable of David and I'm glad you said something to his mom. He deserved the recognition.

Chrystal said...

I'm so inspired after reading this. Thank you so much for sharing! His attitude certainly pulls things back into perspective!

Lydia Kang said...

Great story, thanks for sharing. What a great soul.

Luisa Doraz said...

The world needs more people just like you. :) Have a great weekend. :)

T. Anne said...

I want to be that over achiever in life. I think it's a great thing to strive for. We need more Davids.

Holly said...

What a lovely story with an uplifting message. I really needed something like this today!

Stephie said...

That is so cool. Especially to someone who never quite made it "to the top" as a player in any sport.

Angelia Sims said...

Bravo to David! It is so rare to see such character in kids today.
I hope his heart continues to shine for all to see. Great post!

tattytiara said...

That's one hell of a kid. Very inspiring post.

The Silent Spectator said...

What a wonderful kid. David definitely is an inspiration. :)

Marsha O'Brien said...

You have a big heart too. Great post.

WomanHonorThyself said...

how inspirational! Hope u had a sweet weekend my friend!!:-)

Kimi said...

I'm sure the mom you said the positive comment to feels that much brighter knowing her son really is appreciated in other people's eyes. If no one else has said it, you're also one of the David's. You continue to inspire--thank you, really, and thanks again for sharing such a wonderful parable. My lesson: To be more of a David. Chances are this world might just be a better place : ). Hope you have a great week.

intomystic said...

I'd love to have more Davids in my life. His parents are doing something very right.

Suzanne said...

What a beautiful child. It was nice of you to say something to his mother. Great story!

Natalie said...

What a great story. I love Davids too.

JESSON and REY ANN said...

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I would like also to share this to your reader,... The Succes and Opportunity Family:

The father of succes is WORK,
The mother of succes is AMBITION,
The oldest son of succes is COMMON SENSE
Some of the other sons of success are PERSEVERENCE, HONESTY, THOROUGHNESS, FORESIGHT, ENTHUSIASM, and COOPERATION;
The oldest daughter of succes is CHARACTER,
Some sisters of success are CHEERFULNESS, LOYALTY, CARE, ECONOMY, and SINCERITY,
The baby is OPPORTUNITY.

LadyFi said...

This is wonderfully inspiring! A lesson to be learned for us all.

Anastasia said...

definitely need more David's in my life!

Jayne said...

Where does that kind of heart come from I wonder? We need to find it and bottle it.

I think it's so nice that you spoke to his parents. Too often the focus in team games is on the one scoring the goal and yet the whole team has to be working together to achieve that end result.

Just on a completely unrelated note - thanks for saying that you supported my opinion on gun clubs over at They Call Me Jane. I regretted that I'd made a serious comment on what was supposed a light-hearted post, and then felt foolish that I stuck out like a sore thumb in amongst all the other comments!

Anonymous said...

thanks for this:)