The Jenner team has always been a fiercely competitive team; with other teams and amongst themselves. Come to a regular practice and you will notice how in every drill they give it 110% The numbers game done at the end of most practices can have a feeling of a Game 7 in the United Center. After practice the kids can be so fired up that shaking hands with each other is the last thing they want to do.
We needed to come up with something that would calm them down at the end of practice but not takeaway from their competitiveness. That’s when Coach Byrd at the end of a game against Libby Elementary made every kid sit down in a circle and choose one team mate to compliment and in turn that team mate would choose another team mate to compliment. And so the Circle of Love was born.
At first the kids were shy and would say general statements like " I like your defense" but with increasing familiarity to the Circle of Love the kids became much better at complimenting each other and became more specific.
This week was a great example as Shemar Lumpkin stood up and said " I’d like to pick Lasean. Lasean in the first game we played you showed great control of the ball. When it came to the rollback you did it great and kept your focus"
The Jenner team still remains competitive but now they take the time to say something positive about their team mate before they end practice.