I wasn’t able to watch the Seahawks’ home opener, so when I saw that the score was much closer than anticipated, I was eager to read a solid game summary that would explain to me exactly why.
That’s how I came across this headline this morning from The Seattle Times:
I’m assuming most of you watched the game and know what happened, but for those who do not: the article recapped a game full of miscues, unmet offensive expectations, and setbacks for the Hawks that lasted until the final drive of the game, where the offense drove 75 yards down the field to score a touchdown in the final seconds to pull off a fairly miraculous win.
While this was great news – we all love a Seahawks W – what struck me as most remarkable was what coach Pete Carroll contributed to the team’s success. Sports writer Bob Condotta put it this way:
The Seahawks again demonstrated Sunday what coach Pete Carroll believes is one of their greatest strengths — belief. “There’s a belief that we can do it, and if we only have (4:08) left and 75 yards, it doesn’t matter,” Carroll said. “That’s a really powerful thing for a team.”
One might think the coach of a professional football team would credit such a victory to the the hours of practice, the extraordinary natural talent of his players, or some other seemingly obvious, football-related characteristic, yet according to him, it was belief that gave the Hawks the edge to win.
I couldn’t help but think of how the same is true for young people that come to New Horizons.
Much of our work with youth experiencing homelessness is about connecting people to the opportunity to succeed, which looks different for everyone. For some, that means a stable enough place to sleep so they can work consistently. For others, it’s having the opportunity to work in a job training program to develop a skill that translates into long-term employment.
In a sense, we’re trying to equip young people with life skills and opportunities to leave the streets the way football practice equips the Seahawks for tough games – yet even tangible things like job interviews, housing, or hot meals can fail to forge a path to success when the odds are stacked against you.
Sometimes, what a young person needs to succeed is someone to help them believe success is possible.
Belief is the extra umph someone needs to overcome obstacles that arise when everything else fails. If we equip someone with a sense of belief in their potential, it may carry them through the many setbacks that occur when they try to move forward, like rejection when applying for jobs, setbacks with the legal system, or relational issues at home.
Just like it was a really powerful tool for the Seahawks, belief is a tremendously valuable asset for a young person trying to exit the streets.
That’s why we place so much emphasis on relationships at New Horizons.
By cultivating positive, trusting friendships, youth have a place to vent their frustrations, talk about their failures, and receive encouragement, just like football players in the huddle before a 4th-and-2 situation shout positive things at each other like, Let’s go, man! It’s our time! We got this!
Spending time with young people at Drop-In or in The Nest is our time in the huddle, time to reflect to young people what is already true about them: that they can do anything, that success is possible, and that if they don’t quit fighting, they can win.
And just like the Seahawks final drive on Sunday, it’s inspiring to watch what happens when young people begin to believe.
Thanks for making it possible for us to be in relationship with real winners. Please join us in praying for them to know the power of believing in their God-given potential.
-meredith, marketing coordinator
P.S. Is it a coincidence that our main man, NH supporter Doug Baldwin, caught the game-winning pass? We don’t think so. Go Doug!