Sitting around a table, with a large sheet of paper and coloured pens in the middle, the young people, peer mentors and narrative practitioner gathered to create a collective Team of Life. This involved first asking the young people which team sports they had any connection to. Over the different meetings we discovered interests in Australian Rules Football (AFL), netball and baseball. Depending on the young people’s interest, we then asked one participant to draw the field on which their favourite sport takes place.
We can think about our lives as if they are a team:
We can think of our life as a team. Who are the people most significant to you? The team members of your life can be alive or no longer living. They can be present in your life or people whom you have known in the past. These are the people most influential (in a positive way) in your life.
We asked for a volunteer who would be willing to act as a scribe and with the young people’s permission, as participants spoke, their words were rescued and recorded on the team sheets:
A team of courage: the World’s first netball team of life
An Aussie Rules Team of Life
The following questions were used to spark conversations. They were adapted and added to through consultations with the peer mentor:
- Who have we learned the most from? It is possible to have more than one coach. And it’s possible that they may or may not still be alive. They can even be someone you have never met but you look up to (like a hero, or a religious figure). We can have more than one. Our coach could even be a book or TV show or character we look up to and have learned from. What are some of the things our coaches have taught us?
Home ground (field of dreams)
- What is your home ground? Where is the place you feel most ‘at home’? We may have more than one place. They may even be in more than one country. Your home ground might be somewhere that you go regularly, or somewhere that you only visit in your memories or dreams now. It might even be a sitting in front of your favourite show.
- Who is guarding your goals, who is most reliable, who would this be? Who assists us in protecting our dreams, in protecting what is precious to us?
- Who assists and encourages you in trying to score goals?
- Who are some of the other team-mates in your life, those you play with, those whose company you enjoy?
- In your life, who is your captain? The person who gives good advice? Who encourages us when we are down? Who gives us feedback when we are going off track?
- Are there people who are sometimes on your team and sometimes are not? They might be very helpful to you in life on some days and then on other days not helpful at all. Or these might be people to turn to when your team needs something, that’s when you call them onto the field. These are our interchange team members. What sort of times do they help? What sort of times do they not help? How have you learnt the difference?
- Where would you place yourself on this team? What is your current position?
First aid kit
- When your team faces a difficulty (an injury / a player going down) what do you turn to? What supports your team in hard times? What is in your first aid kit?
Fans – both vocal and quiet
- When you are at your home ground, who are the fans you imagine in the stands? Who are the people who are hoping you will do well? We might have vocal fans and quiet fans.
Team motto / values
- What are some of the important values of your team? What is this team standing for? What values are we defending? Can you think of a motto or slogan for this? What is the history of these values? Have they been a part of your team for a long time?
- Do you have a particular song that means a lot to you, that you could call the ‘theme song’ of your life at the moment? If so, what would it be? Why is it significant to you?
- Do you have someone in your life who acts as ‘crowd control’ sometimes? Or maybe you act as your own crowd control: to make sure your team gets enough space and time?
- Who is your favourite commentator? Why are they your favourite? What about in your own life? Who is the person who tells the best stories about your life? Or who do you reckon tells the best stories about life more generally? Who would you like to have as your commentator for your Team of Life?
Other people’s teams
- Also, do you play on any other people’s Teams of Life? What other people’s teams do you play on?
- What position are you on their teams?