Camp is in full swing and the energy is way up. After a full day and a half of camp, teams have begun to coalesce, both on the field and off. First-time, head coach Mike Grant shares about his experiences with his team as they form a unique, collective identity.
We are the Blues Brothers. We sing silly songs, chant our team name, and have our own flag. We even have a team handshake where you bump your fist against your teammates fist, and then instead of your hand exploding like a bomb you quickly flash a peace sign. We think its super cool and funny, but we also use it when when someone’s done something really amazing on the field, or when we’re struggling. It definitely feeds us something, whatever it is.
Our flag has a piece of all of us. One kid drew us a cool logo with “Blues Brothers” written in music notes. And it has a picture of a guy spinning a frisbee on his peace fingers. One kid put paint on his hand and put his hand on the flag. Now that’s apart of it. Then another kid did that, but with another color. Someone else drew the initials “AHF” on it. When I asked what it stood for he said, ‘Always Have Fun.’ We painted this flag for a good hour and were so pumped when we raised it up in the air. We all did our secret handshake and laughed together..
When we walk to meals together, or to the fields for practice, or to activities, we raise our flag and sing “We are family, I’ve got my Bluuueeesss Brothers with me!” over and over and over again. None of us know any Blues Brothers songs, but that doesn’t matter. At meals we sit together and chant spirit songs with the rest of the camp. Today one kid brought back a plate of food that looked like a smiley face, so we laughed and took pictures. Someone added a melon mustache to make it look even funnier.
When we were deciding on an activity to do as a team today, it was tough to pick just one. Everyone wanted to go to the pool, that was a given. But some kids wanted to know if they could do the slip & slide first, and then go to the pool. So I asked if that was OK, and of course it was. Result? Secret handshakes.
After the first day together, we were told that one of our players needed to play with another team for the week because they didn’t have enough. We had a team huddle and the consensus was “once a Blues Brother, always a Blues Brother.” So he was OK with the change, and he gets to do the handshake anytime he sees us.
Our very last scrimmage tonight was against a really good team. It was our first chance to play a game, and it went really well. I’m not sure what the final score was, or if we won or lost, but we had many chances to practice resolving disagreements. Not all of them made sense, or were resolved for that matter, but the game moved on happily each time. At the end of the game both teams congratulated each other and gave high fives.
After that all the Blues Brother gathered in a tight circle. The players were all glowing with energy from the game and were excited that our three team mantras/rules of: Keep positive, Never give up, and I got your back were the things they thought they did well. The recognized the amount of turnovers that happened, but that each time they tried really hard to get the disc back. And they did, over and over again. Because they’ve got each others backs they said.
I think it’s pretty awesome that less than two days have gone by since this group first met. Before we were the Blues Brothers we were a group of people from Tamra, Binyamina, Ra’anana, Daburya, Buiena Nudijat, Vancouver Island, Chicago, and Marin County. We were put onto the same team to play ultimate frisbee and meet new friends. None of us really know too much about each other yet, but it hasn’t seemed to matter. We’re the Blues Brothers and we’re having fun, and it’s just the beginning.