Bird is always inspiring.
The women of the Seattle Storm are always engaging with the community, whether it is through cleaning up an old basketball court, mentoring youth, making dreams come true and so much more. This month, WNBA legend and Seattle Storm star Sue Bird delivered a speech to the youth at Greenwich Academy, inspiring the girls of the school to take charge of their lives and make their dreams become a reality.
Bird’s main theme during the January 6 assembly was to set goals, no matter how small they are. She even shared some of her personal goals with the kids, like making the Olympic team this year. Bird also gave the girls some advice that is sorely needed in today’s educational world of constant testing: that it is okay to make mistakes and fail, since that is how learning occurs. While the inventors and innovators of the past created the world we have today through learning, re-adjusting and creating breakthroughs after repeated failures, today’s children are instructed that it is never okay to fail, that grades and test scores matter most. Bird’s words of wisdom will hopefully inspire the girls to make more mistakes as they experiment with academics and find their strengths as they grow. “Try new things and don’t be afraid of looking stupid or silly!” Bird said. She advised the girls to not focus on wins and losses, since there will be so many of both on the court and in life.
She also advised the children to never be afraid to ask for help and to look at obstacles as challenges that help you discover just what you are made of in your life. She also joked around with her youthful audience, saying, “In basketball world, 35 is like 1,000 years.” Perhaps the best part of her speech was when Bird opened the floor for questions, talking to the girls and answering their questions for her. She also had some words about preparation and confidence: “The only place confidence comes from is from yourself. The only way to get it is to put in the work and practice over and over.” She even shared a secret to how she handles anger: by focusing more on positive things, like cheering on her team, than on the negative events that happen.
Athletes like Bird who reach out to youth to help inspire them with words of wisdom and personal attention can make all the difference in young people’s lives.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia