Friday, December 19, 2008

Champions of Discipline

I have been to many of the scholastic nationals both as a coach and a tournament director. As a coach I have a little more time to observe what goes on around the tournament venue. There's always something that makes an impression on me. What grabbed my attention this time was the group of children from Norwood Elementary of Miami. First of all, they were the sharpest looking chess team out there with their matching bright yellow windbreakers, shirts, and blue back packs. They were not hard to miss!

Every round you would see them lined up, and go into the playing hall as a team. What impressed me was how orderly the line was. No kids jumping out of line. Nobody yelling or giving the parents, chaperons or teachers a hard time. They went in and quietly found their seat and got down to the business of playing chess.

When the kids finished they would go to back of the room where parents and coaches were sitting. They would sit quietly with the adults who accompanied them and wait for all their teammates to finish.

When everyone was done, they'd line up and leave the playing hall as a team.

After the last round was done, as each child filed by, this one chaperon gave each child a big hug, and words of praise and encouragement. It was really a very sweet moment for these children. This was their first nationals, and I'm sure for many of them their first time away from Miami. I spoke to a couple of the parents and the assistant principal. I could tell they were really proud of their kids and their school. They had every right to be. They really impressed me with their behavior and discipline. They did their school proud. They may not have won many trophies, but they won the respect of those who observed their fine behavior. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who noticed.

The Norwood Tigers were grrrrrrrrreat!!!

Go Tigers! I hope to see you in Nashville next April for the Super Nationals.


From the patzer said...

Go Tigers!

(it's all in a name :-p )

Anonymous said...

Between Julio Becerra and this, we're getting a few good chess stories out of Miami.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing about my team on your blog. We have had an exciting 6 years. We have aquired 56!! 1st,2nd and 3rd place team trophies in county, state and regional tournaments. We are proud of our players and excited to have a team in eighth place. Thank you again for your kind words.

Barbara Reed

Polly said...

Barbara: Thanks for stopping by. I always like find something special about the large nationals that goes beyond who the big winners were. Your kids made a lasting impression on me, and was refreshing change from some of the out of control kids I see at some of these events. I can tell you have spent a lot of time working on the life skills that go along with the chess skills. Keep up the outstanding work!

Unknown said...

Speaking as a proud teacher of three members of the Chess Team, I want to thank you for posting such a nice comment.Congratulations go out to my girls Areiana, Kameryn & Gabby who participated in this wonderful event.I know they were thankful for the wonderful experience.

Ildiko Matchus said...

I have known Barbara, the Norwood coach for 28 years and I had the pleasure and honor of working with her at Norwood for 15 of those years. She is a phenomenal teacher and person. Those are some very lucky kids! Go Tigers! Go Barbara! Ildiko Matchus

Unknown said...

I have added your blog to my blog roll. Please add mine -


Anonymous said...

Way to go tigers! Your discipline and matureity matches your skill. There's a future Capablanca or Fisher there for sure!
Cliff Werner

Polly said...

Naditha: You have a nice blog. I tried to leave a comment on one of your posts and it didn't have a place to leave a comment. Did you disable comments?