Play for SMILES is a concept that was inspired by our “Team Mom” who recently passed away. As we remembered the wonderful, kind and caring person that she was, I was constantly reminded of her warm and encouraging smile. Irrespective of the result or how we played, she always greeted us at the end of games with the biggest smile! Without saying a word, her smile communicated everything we needed, whether it was praise, empathy, encouragement or all three!
Looking back, I truly appreciated her smile and how it made me feel. As I was remembering those feelings; coincidentally, I received a game update from my son’s game, and his team was getting blown out :( If I had been watching that game, I am sure I would have had a mouthful of commentary to provide (“what’s going on?”, “why aren’t you trying?”, “are you intimidated?”, “this is embarrassing”, etc.) … and I would have had a long list of lessons that my son needed to learn.
Needless to say, I’m the one that is a slow learner, and after all these years, I finally grasped the most important lesson that Mrs. Quinones was teaching us … SMILES are significantly more powerful and helpful than lectures!
On this day, October 4th, 2015, I made a commitment to myself and my kids to pay Mrs. Quinones’ smile forward, and following my kids games, I have a new motto …
SMILE more, lecture less!
>> Fast Forward to 2022 ... as the kids have grown, sports have remained an integral part of our lives. Through sports they have learned numerous lessons and they continue to develop and refine new skills. In an effort to continue to evolve our passion for sports, and desire to Smile instead of lecture, the Play for Smiles site will shift gears as we embrace the newest sport that makes us smile - PICKLEBALL!