Last week we had a Sabakiball league game in Arizona. It is the second game we’ve played since the lockdown rules have relaxed, and it feels so great to be together again. The inventor of Sabakiball, Michael Cerpok, found out earlier in the week that he must begin Cancer treatments again – the fifth round in his 13-year battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This devastating news did not stop him from coming onto the field and enjoying himself. Instead of letting fear and despair take hold, he takes every opportunity to enjoy life and be with his Sabakiball “family”.
This same group of league players just recently lost one of our Sabakiball “family” members unexpectedly. She was a parent to a couple of our long-time players. The whole family has been involved with Sabakiball for over eight years. The players who started when they were children are now both adults. Throughout the years, both parents came to every game and contributed by coaching, cleaning up, keeping score, helping run special programs, and recruiting other players. By far, this family has had the most impact on Sabakiball! They epitomize the qualities Sabakiball looks for in its sports community – love, support, contribution, fair play and caring. Even with this loss that saddens all of us greatly, the family is still on the field every game living life and being with those who support them in this heartbreaking time.
2020 has certainly brought into everyone’s lives tragedy, uncertainty, and fear. The stories that make news are sensationalized, stoking the fires of outrage and anxiety within us all. But looking around my community I see such inspiration! These two examples that just happened in the last month are REAL people, REAL situations. We don’t hear about them in the news because this is LIFE. Tragedy happens. Heartbreak happens. Loss happens. The inspiration comes in when we choose to continue with happiness.
Inspiration is around us every day, everywhere. Supporting each other. Giving to others to help, not to gain recognition. Reaching out to engage someone who has withdrawn. Embracing life’s ups and downs even when we are down. Open your eyes and look around! Let those who inspire you just by BEING HUMAN, like these two heroic situations above, know what their actions and example means to you. Let them know you recognize their strength and honor. INSPIRATION…PASS IT ON.
We have all had to learn new rules, new restrictions, and a new way of life that may be quite different than what we are used to. Although learning new things is uncomfortable, frustrating, and sometimes painful, mankind survives and thrives by adapting to change. The human spirit is very resilient!
As we slowly emerge from the Stay-At-Home restrictions, much like a groundhogs peeking their heads out from their safe burrows to see if it is safe to come out, we will naturally feel apprehension at the same time we feel excitement. We will feel cautious at the same time we will feel free. What changes will there be in the next few months, and what changes will last far in the future from this pandemic?
Sports, in particular, are asking these same questions. How do we keep players safe? Spectators safe? How and when can we go back to what we used to know – playing and watching team sports with people sitting together enjoying the competition and the company? We will most likely look to professional sports to lead the way, as they are in the limelight and easy to observe. Many established sports will either need to adapt to the change or wait longer to go back to the old ways, if at all.
Many times, we are forced to change. Something drastic or devastating needs to happen before we can see outside the box of familiar rules and expectations. Sabakiball is all about Breaking the Box. Looking at the usual, the familiar, and changing it for the better! This is how Sabakiball was created and why it emerged into such a unique sport that it is patented. With this pandemic, some of Sabakiball’s rules will already fit into this new way of life – like the non-contact rule. Other rules may need to be modified.
Just last weekend, we tested a new way of playing Sabakiball. The veteran players in Arizona, where the Stay-At-Home orders are slowly lifting, played with modified rules. It was difficult to change our old habits, but it was fun to try something new! If we can look at change as more of an adventure to experience than something scary to resist, we will go with change seamlessly. There is an old saying: Be as strong as an oak but as supple as a reed. This is the essence of adapting. Breaking the Box. Changing things for the better.
So, as we cautiously step out into the new world, have a sense of adventure. Be excited to try new things – it may be better than before!
The Pay It Forward Project
HOW TO BE SELECTED TO RECEIVE FREE EQUIPMENT!!
Equipment Give Away Rules
SABAKIBALL IS HONORED TO GIVE AWAY FREE EQUIPMENT TO YOUR PROGRAM!
HURRY! YOU ONLY HAVE A FEW WEEKS TO POST YOUR ENTHUSIASM AND BE SELECTED! GOOD LUCK!
The Inventor of Sabakiball has pledged to give a FREE PE Starter Kit to a deserving school or program. At the end of March 2020, one LUCKY school or program will be selected to receive a FREE Sabakiball PE Starter kit ($375 value)*. Be the LUCKY school or program to receive a FREE set of Sabakiball Equipment!
Show the Sabakiball Inventor that your school or program is the MOST deserving of a free set of equipment. The LUCKY school or program chosen to receive a FREE PE Starter Kit will be based on three factors: (1) Participation (2) Content (3) Creativity.
PARTICIPATION: Get as many people from your school or program to show that your group has the MOST people excited about playing Sabakiball! The more you can show the Inventor that it is not just one person who wants to play, but many people – teachers (instructors), children (players), parents (families), and administrators (department heads) – the more the Inventor will want to grant the FREE set of equipment to your group. Show him your group knows about Sabakiball, LOVES Sabakiball, and wants to add Sabakiball to your program! Prove to the Inventor through enthusiastic participation that your group, above all others, deserves a FREE PE Starter Kit.
How does your group show its enthusiasm and participation? Post on social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube) #Sabakiball, #SBIGiveAway, #PayItForwardProject. Write comments, retweet, share links and articles, follow us, like us! Write comments below on this Game Point Blog about The Pay It Forward Project. Let the Sabakiball Inventor know you are out there and that you LOVE and WANT Sabakiball in your program, starting with this FREE set of equipment. Be sure to mention the name of your group or school in your posts! The more social media activity your group shows, the more the Inventor will know you are enthusiastic about Sabakiball.
CONTENT: When your group posts on social media and on this Game Point Blog, write about your experiences with Sabakiball. Or if this is your first time hearing about Sabakiball, write about what intrigues you about the sport. How do you know about Sabakiball? What do you LOVE about Sabakiball? How has it influenced your life? Why do you think Sabakiball should be in your program? The more unique, heart-felt and thoughtful your content is, the more it shows the Inventor that Sabakiball means something to you and that it is more about getting Sabakiball in your program rather than getting free equipment. Share the love, share your experience and let the Inventor know your program is most deserving!
CREATIVITY: Social media has so many ways to share artistic expression. When you post on Sabakiball’s social media, get creative! Use video, pictures, words, art… The more creative your posts about how much your group LOVES Sabakiball, the more this shows the Inventor you put time, thought and energy into expressing your appreciation for Sabakiball and the Inventor for giving your group a FREE PE Starter Kit.
SMALL PRINT: By posting to Sabakiball’s social media and website you consent to Sabakiball using any and all content posted for future use indefinitely, including testimonials, posts, marketing, etc. Whoever is posting materials guarantees the materials are not copyrighted and the person posting has the authority to post the materials and grant permission to Sabakiball for future use of the materials posted. The chosen recipient of the free PE Starter Kit understands that the equipment provided is at no cost to the recipient. Sabakiball will cover the shipping expense for said equipment for shipments within the Continental US (residential addresses excluded). *The recipient has the option to select different equipment; Sabakiball will honor the $375 value and recipient agrees to pay increased equipment and/or shipping costs for the upgraded selection. The equipment received at no cost is not covered under Sabakiball’s standard warranty.
When I was young my mother used to say: Don't chew with your mouth open. I would ask why and she would reply: Because the way you act at home forms habits that you will take out into the world. So if you let yourself chew with your mouth open at home, when you are in public you will chew with your mouth open without even thinking about it. As a child I, of course, knew better than my mother and did not heed her advice. Now, as an adult, I catch myself chewing with my mouth open when I am not thinking about it. Turns out Mother was right again!
The point of this story is we all perform the way we practice. After years of practicing bad posture, it is harder to straighten up. If we do our homework halfheartedly we will take tests halfheartedly. If we have mean and hateful thoughts about people and things, someday those thoughts will slip out into words at the worst moment possible.
Practicing a strong work ethic, good habits and positive thinking will lead us to perform strongly, healthily and kindly. What we surround ourselves with will become our world, our reality. Reflect on a typical day in your life. How much of your day makes you happy? How often do you deliberately try to better your own actions and thoughts? How many times do you make an effort to do something good for others? These are all things that will make your daily life better and bring more joy and inspiration into the lives of those around you.
During each game of SABAKIBALL, the leaders - coaches, referees, captains - have a chance to uplift the team with their positive words, their attention to detail and their concern for the players. From my experience, when my team works together we play better together. Even if our team ultimately loses the game, we come away with it learning what to change next time and encouraging each other to improve when we face the other team again. On the other side, when I see teams that are yelling at each other with destructive criticism and hurtful words, the already struggling team just gets worse throughout the game and feels frustrated and diminished leaving the field. Who wants to play a game like that? Who wants to live a life like that? Or be around people like that?
Each moment of each day you have a choice to make those moments good or bad for yourself and those around you. Your thoughts and actions become your habits. Your habits become your world. Your world becomes your reality. Practice the reality in which you want to live. Practice makes Perfect!
They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Entrepreneurs, inventors and creators can look at something that exists and see how to make it better. Bill Gates, Marie (Madame) Curie, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington Carver had a driving force within them that not only made them think outside the box but they LIVED outside the box and changed the world forever. The challenge for all trailblazers is that at the beginning no one else sees what they see - the possibilities, the vision, the change.
Having been born into a family trained in athletics and after a life-long career in physical training, martial arts and sports knowledge, Michael Cerpok looked at existing traditional sports and saw the gaps of where some of them fell short in the lives of up-and-coming athletic youths. Seeing the possibilities of a fast and competitive sport without the head and body injuries, without the exclusion of weaker players or certain positions on the field, without the separation of genders, Michael created SABAKIBALL.
Michael's vision for SABAKIBALL was to create game-play that tore down the status quo in sports. Why do we separate genders? Why do the athletes have to risk the health of their bodies in order to play competitively? Why do certain positions of the game-play get more or less value or attention? When Michael created SABAKIBALL it was to include all players, all genders, all skill levels, and it was to be a sport that is fun to PLAY, fun to WATCH and cultivates the fundamentals of fair play, safety and encouragement. Anyone who has been involved in sports as a spectator, player or parent may have experienced that these fundamentals are missing from traditional sports. And anyone who has been involved in SABAKIBALL can tell you that it is different than anything they have ever played or seen before.
Once Michael found a way to fill the gaps in current sports play, he set out to change what people expect from sports. As all trail blazers find, people resist change. There has to be a necessity for the change for it to be accepted by the masses. News articles and social media conversations prove that we are ready to eliminate gender biases. We are ready to protect athletes from life-altering injuries. We are ready for sports to show sportsmanship, leadership and encouragement. Indeed, we are ready for change! We need change.
Join SABAKIBALL in LIVING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX! Challenge the status quo. Question why things are the way they are. Think outside the box, then LIVE outside the box. Put your thoughts into action! We all have a trailblazer spirit. Sabakiball would love to hear about your trailblazer spirit or other trailblazers that LIVE OUTSIDE THE BOX and have changed your life for the better!
Sabakiball is The Ultimate Team Sport. Wow, what a claim! What makes Sabakiball different than other team sports that makes it The Ultimate? Teamwork.
To be on a team does not mean there needs to be Teamwork. Many team sports, professional and recreational, see a star emerge. That one person who dominates the field or ice or court. Of course it is easy for the star to take over. It's in his nature - that is why he is a star! And it's easy for the team to just pass the ball and let the star do his thing. But there is so much missed opportunity to involve the other players and build up their strengths too for the benefit of the team.
Sabakiball was invented to create the NEED for the team. The players must pass the ball three times before attempting to score. This involves the NEED for multiple players on the court and the cooperation between them. Defensive strategies allow the defending team to "double up" on the star player stopping her from getting the ball or shooting. The offensive team has no choice but to utilize the "weaker" players who are not guarded. After watching, coaching and playing Sabakiball for over ten years now we have seen consistently the teams with a star player lose to the team that utilized Teamwork effectively.
We can learn a lot from Sabakiball - The Ultimate Team Sport. In life there are many situation that if we all worked as a team instead of relying on that star player to pull us through it would be so much easier and productive. Traffic - if we worked together to merge fluidly, change lanes without disruption and move at the same speed together we could reduce traffic jams and accidents. Work - if coworkers and leaders alike encouraged each other to act on each others strengths and "pass the ball" when someone else could do a task better, the office would harbor a supportive atmosphere and run smoothly. Family - if everyone contributed to housework, ideas and decisions of how the family unit functions, this team effort would make everyone feel of value and resource.
Our world, our communities, our families could greatly benefit from Teamwork. A complete cooperation of the "players" involved. We all have a common goal. Let's work as a Team to get there!