Recently, Special Olympics Tennessee held its Young Athletes Summer Camp at Lipscomb University. The event was for athletes ages 3-10 and there was a wide range of activities for the athletes to participate in from floor hockey to basketball, and even a dance class put on by Tippi Toes Nashville. This event was a huge success, and this could not happen without incredible volunteers.
A volunteer that went above and beyond at Young Athletes Summer Camp was Grayson Michael. He assisted at the basketball station and enjoyed teaching young athletes how to dribble and shoot the ball into the mini hoop. His passion stood out as he had a can-do attitude and was ready to help wherever he is assigned. He leaned into the roles he was given and worked to the best of his ability. Growing up a basketball player, he was familiar with the sport and used the knowledge that was passed down to him from former coaches onto the young athletes he was guiding in his stations.
One of the essentials of being a great team member is admitting when you do not know about something, and Michael did that. Aside from basketball, Michael was also assigned to the volleyball station. He wanted to know more about the sport he was helping with, so he researched volleyball drills and special techniques that relate to the sport. This had him prepared to work with the athletes knowledgeably. Research is an essential skill for volunteers to have as it helps the day’s activities flow without complications.
Michael met one of our young athletes named Isaac. Isaac is an athlete who is energetic and involved in any sport he can be a part of, and Michael spoke about the bond he formed with him over his time at camp.
“I’m a station leader and every time I saw Isaac, the kid lights up the room,” said Michael. “He's amazing and he’s a good sport.”
Volunteers building connections with athletes is important as the athlete feels seen and the volunteer gains new perspectives. A person can gain this new perspective through their willingness to learn. Michael demonstrated this in every aspect during his time volunteering.
When a volunteer has clear eyes and a full heart like Michael they simply cannot lose.
Learn more about volunteering with Special Olympics Tennessee: Click here.