Still Sideline Support
We’ve probably all seen a coach on the sidelines encouraging an athletic player. Usually it is loud, energetic, boisterous and sometimes even appears aggressive – so caught up in the athletes actions. The coach CAN’T jump in and help the player with the game. That’s against the rules. The only way the coach can guide is by shouting from afar. Up until now the coach and athlete have done all the work, practiced, ran scenarios, trained, taken good nutrition and maybe done sports psychology. They are ready – but even still, the coach can’t join the game.
In support work we take on a lot of the same principles. What we don’t adhere to in the “sideline support” model is the energetic shouting (unless it’s a sports game, then we join right in!). Support professionals practice to attain a stillness in their support. The ability to be present, available, attentive to any needs that arise but, always to the side until needed. Support professionals sometimes say the support “from the shadows”, meaning they are tucked away while the human they are supporting is the star of the show. That’s another analogy we use: being a “roadie”. Meaning support is a lot about organizing and clearing a path for the rockstars we are lucky enough to have been hired to do life with.
We have the good fortune of being able to work with people to practice, run scenarios, process, make back up plans and then implement the desires and goals of the participants we are with every day. Take for example going to a film shoot at our local food bank. Two gentlemen from the BOSS Architect program were background actors and Kim as support professional was the background support to the background actors.
How do we find authentic belonging in our community? We dive deep into the power of being EMpowered and create space for all types of communication and voices. I for one am grateful to be part of a community who picks up the phone and asks: “Who would like to belong to our project/idea/group/etc. and extends genuine invitations to people with differences.
As support professionals, we are here. Finding stillness at the sideline as each person we support takes a turn at center stage.
Onward in Community,
Kim and The BOSS Team.
To learn more about the short film please visit the Facebook Page for Food For Thought
Here are a few more photos from our exciting day: