In a field where one is required to work with individuals from very diverse backgrounds, building relationships can be challenging. One way to bridge the gap is to offer encouragement.
A method I use to offer encouragement is to use a simple phrase that starts with “I noticed…” I fill in the blank with a quality or attribute that the athlete exhibits- something personal, positive and true.
For example, if the athlete exhibited good work ethic in the weight room, I acknowledge that quality and say, “I noticed you worked hard today.” If he elevated the group by his encouragement of a fellow teammate, I may say, “I noticed you encouraged others and made them better.”
Research that shows a student’s improved behavior or cooperation can be traced to the personal connection he or she developed with an adult.
Even Jesus received encouragement when God the father said to him, “You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ This is an example in which God teaches us that sometimes we need encouragement to move forward.
Life is filled with moments. Having an awareness of this strategy heightened my antennae to not miss one! How many opportunities are missed to capitalize on a behavior or quality of someone because we are not in the moment? Or, we notice the trait but don’t take the time to acknowledge it?
We all need encouragement. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to inspire someone!
“You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11)