Well, I’ve missed my last two Friday blogs, not for lack of trying, but for lack of energy. Last week, I was in bed at 8:30, and it’s been 9:30 for a while now. I don’t have a TV show I really like any more in that 9 – 10 spot, and I think it’s obvious I’m just feeling old right now.

But, this isn’t about me (totally). The last two posts I’ve made have been about this year’s edition of 8th grade girls basketball. A ragtag group of ball players who have managed to beat one of the better teams in our area, who continue to grow as a team, and who continue to resist that urge to beat each other up! We have some girls who know how to push the buttons of other players.

The game I described the last blog, there was a time where I called timeout because we were looking a bit (a lot) frazzled on the court. We’d just taken the lead, and look like we were ready to collectively throw up all over ourselves. I called time out and didn’t diagram a play and I didn’t talk basketball.

#whattheheckareyoucallingtimeoutforthen

The girls came off the floor and a couple looked like they were ready to cry. So, did I do? I had them breath, deeply.

#somekindofhippiething?

Nope, I’ve really bought into the whole idea of being mindful and using deep breathing to create that sense of calm in the storm of chaos around us. Had I not called that time out, I believe we would have lost that game. The outcome was not yet decided, but it was close. My girls, even though they played this team tough all ready, really hadn’t been tested. This other team I knew hadn’t been tested. So, you’ve got two teams, one who’s finding their courage (mine), one who walks on the floor being courageous (theirs), thrust into a situation neither had much experience in. What could go wrong, right? πŸ™‚

So, we took deep breaths, we talked about being in control, about how the game was ours, that we were ahead, and how THEY were the ones stressing because they rarely were ever behind, and almost never to us!

Guess what? It worked. We went back on the floor looking calm, collected, and ready to win a game they now believed they could win.

So, why talk about this?

Because this has SO MANY places it can be inserted. I had a student come up to me a couple of days ago to tell me a story about how her little sister was ready to melt down, and this girl told her to breath in through her nose, out through her mouth, and to focus on a happy thought. Before long, her little sister was calmed down and could talk about the problem!

We’ve started to take the first few minutes of our class to breath, to focus on the breath, and NOT on the fight with their parents, the fact they didn’t get breakfast, or forgot their homework. We talk about visualizing what good things look like our lives, whether it’s a sport activity, singing in church, or a perfect test score. Anything will work, because the positive thought will help take students from the negative to the positive.

This will take a while, but I can see a difference in a few students. Imagine students with that ability to calm themselves without acting out, dealing with problems though techniques that could be used throughout their lives. I will be investigating this further because not only can this help them, but can help me!

Because my life is calm and tranquil with no stress said no coach (or teacher) ever! πŸ™‚