INTRODUCTION TO START PRACTICE/GAME
Our virtue this week is LOYALTY – The strength to make a cause more important than yourself enabling you to make sacrifices to achieve it. Our team, our season, our togetherness is that cause.
Lord, You were the perfect example of LOYALTY as You made us more important than Yourself and You made so many sacrifices for us. Help us to be LOYAL to one another on this team. May we be more and more like You each day. Does anyone have any prayer intentions? Who wants to lead us in a Glory Be?
STORY TO TELL IMMEDIATELY AFTER PRAYER
Damon and Pythias
There is a great story from the 4th century B.C. It takes place in the Sicilian city-state of Syracuse. Damon and Pythias had been the best of friends since childhood. Each trusted the other wholeheartedly and each knew in his heart that there was nothing he would not do for his friend. Now the ruler of Syracuse grew annoyed at Pythias for the political speeches that he was giving, announcing that no man should have absolute power in society.
The king summoned Pythias and ordered him to retract his statements or be put to death. Pythias refused. He would retract nothing because he believed that what he was teaching was the truth. “Then you will die”, said the king. “Do you have any last requests?” “Yes. Let me go home just long enough to say goodbye to my wife and children.” The king would have none of it. “I will give you a pledge,” Pythias said.
At that moment Damon spoke up and said that he would remain there in prison until his friend returned. The king was amazed that anyone would be such a friend. He told Damon, “You must suffer the same consequences if your friend does not return on time. You realize this?” “He will keep his word,” Damon replied. “I have no doubt of that.”
The appointed day for Pythias’ return had arrived yet Pythias had not. “It seems your friend has not turned up,” the king laughed. “What do you think of him now?” “He is my friend,” Damon answered. “I trust him.” Even as he spoke, the doors flew open, and Pythias staggered into the room. He was pale and bruised as he rushed to the arms of his friend.
“It seemed like everything was against me. My ship was wrecked, I was mugged by thieves … but I refused to give up hope, and at last I’ve made back in time. I am ready to receive my sentence of death.” The king was astonished. He had never seen such dedicated friendship. His eyes and his heart were opened and he changed his mind. “The sentence is revoked,” he declared. “I never believed such faith and loyalty could exist between two men. You have shown me how wrong I was, and it is only right that you have your freedom. But I ask that you do me one favor and teach me how to be a part of so worthy a friendship”
QUESTION TO ENGAGE PLAYERS
What inspires you to be loyal to this team?
RESOLUTION TO WORK ON DURING PRACTICE/GAME
Let’s play today with a full heart, a heart that is LOYAL and willing to put the team first.
Coach, look for players praising teammates and congratulate them for living the virtue of LOYALTY right then and there when you see/hear it.
Ask individually as many players as you can during practice/game the below:
Which teammate inspires you the most to be more LOYAL?
Tell me about a person who has been especially LOYAL to you during your life.
END OF PRACTICE/GAME PRAYER
Lord, we praise You for being so good to us. We want to be more like You each day. Thank you for helping us be more LOYAL today.
Help us all to be more LOYAL this week by cheering up someone who might be down.
WAY TO LIVE THE VIRTUE THIS WEEK
Cheer up someone who might be down this week.
Remind players to tell their parents and siblings the story.
LOYALTY QUOTES FOR THE WEEK
“The greater the loyalty of a group toward the group, the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the group, and the greater the probability that the group will achieve its goals.” – Rensis Likert
“Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life” – Napoleon Hill
“Unless you can find some sort of loyalty, you cannot find unity and peace in your active living” – Josiah Royce
“Loyalty is a feature in a boy’s character that inspires boundless hope.” – Sir Robert Baden-Powell
“When you eat fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.” – Vietnamese Saying
“An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.” – Elbert Hubbard
“We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.: – G.K. Chesterton