We All Need Encouragement

High achievers like Pat Summitt, the Lady Volunteer’s Basketball Coach, demand the best from themselves and others. You might think that her high standards and demanding ways are the reason her teams have won three national titles over the past four years, but you’d only be partially right.

After a dry spell in the mid 90’s, Summitt popped a cork on the long ride home from a game the team should have won. Summitt chewed on one of her seniors so hard that it devastated the athlete. After a sleepless night, Michelle Marciniak, the player, called her coach at six in the morning saying she needed more than to be told when she makes mistakes, she needs some encouragement too.

That early morning phone call served as a “wake-up call” for Summitt in more ways than one. Slowly, she’s changed her ways to avoid breaking a player’s spirit. Her new combination of high standards and an encouraging spirit is taking the Lady Volunteers to a new level.

Criticism has its place, but it always takes second place to encouragement.

” …not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)

—Reader’s Digest, Feb. 2000 p. 56

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