Play with Joy, and Good Things will Happen!

Many moons ago, while I was playing rugby in college, we were called to an inspirational moment before a big game. I think it was our beloved coach Franck who said it first.

Play with Joy, and Good Things will Happen.

Our team took up the mantra like a scarf, wrapping it around our heads and and hearts. We wrote it on the back of t-shirts and we passed it along to the underclasswomen who followed us.

Last night I went to a soccer coaching clinic, and so I was delighted when the coaches’ coach started and ended the session with an ode to joy.

“Remember, it’s about Joy,” he said. “Above all else, the kids should love the game. Teach them the technical skills, yes. But if you show them the joy in playing with the ball, and playing the game, they will want to play on their own and improve.”

Ain’t it so, Joe?

Those things we love – they shine out of us. Playing rugby with my teammates, scoring a hard-won try, feeling the fatigue and rush after a long game – it was joyful.

Now I’m too old for rugby. But I played soccer today and I felt it. The joy of it. And then I came home to my family and felt awe and joy at the little moment of watching my youngest unzip his precious bag to place a bear inside. And seeing the curl of my husband’s hair as it started to brush across his forehead.

And what better gift can we give ourselves than pursuing those life-giving things that give us joy? Not numbing, or distraction, or haze – but moments of true joy? And would I? Could I? Perhaps even share that joy with others…

Play with Joy, and Good things will Happen!

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