Tag Archive for 'non-udenti'

From last to winning: the story of a deaf team

What the American football team at the California School for the Deaf in Riverside is demonstrating is the most classic demonstration of how a difficulty can turn into an opportunity for improvement and success, even in a sport where the noises derived from fighting between players are an integral part of the game. For seven seasons the Cubs team had always lost, and often their opponents had humiliated them not only in the game but in the words they used to refer to them.

But this season they are undefeated and are two games away from winning the championship. That would be the first time in 68 years.

They are coached by the school’s physical education teacher, Keith Adams, a deaf, burly, effervescent man whose two deaf sons are also on the team. The Cubs have become a fast, hard-hitting team. Their weapon is a system of coded hand signals between close-knit teammates and coaches that confounds opponents with its speed and effectiveness.

In a part of California that suffered greatly during the pandemic with high unemployment and more than 5,000 deaths, the Cubs’ excellence lifted the school and the surrounding community.

The team’s success broke the die-hard stereotype that deafness is something you can’t overcome in soccer. Adams, applied his philosophy to this group of athletes that what might be thought of as a limitation can be an advantage. Through this approach, rigorous training and a group of talented young men who were already playing together at lower levels, he built a winning team.

Coaches also say deaf players have enhanced their vision by making them more attentive to game movements. As a result, they gain a better sense of their opponents’ positioning.

On Friday night, the Cubs beat the Desert Christian Knights, 84-12.