Once there was a middle school boy who desperately wanted to become a professional basketball player. He was tall, and his huge feet indicated he would grow even taller. However, he was so big that it was difficult for him to get up and down the basketball court. His huge, heavy feet were often a disadvantage because they were just too big. But he was a good basketball player.
His coach had seen many students throughout the years who wanted to play pro ball. He knew that only a tiny fraction of them would ever make it to the pros. He knew that students that age needed a plan B, not just a plan A of playing pro ball, so he tried his best to instill other dreams in the kids.
The coach realized he needed to talk to the big boy who was so intent on becoming a pro basketball player, even though he was built more for football. He didn’t want to discourage the boy, but he knew how difficult it had been for other students who put all their eggs in one basket and didn’t have a plan B.
Finally after watching the boy slow down during the game because he was too heavy to continue to run up and down the court, the coach took him aside and put his arm around the boy and said “Shaq, maybe you need a plan B.” The boy’s name was Shaquille O’Neal, but he went by Shaq.
In high school Shaq sometimes became discouraged about his goal to play pro ball. Then he met a college coach who understood that he needed encouragement. The coach realized he needed something to overcome his difficulty getting up and down the court. On a piece of paper he wrote out some exercises that would give Shaq more stamina. He gave him a pep talk, telling him that he really did have potential and that if he worked hard enough he might make it to the pros.
Coach Brown of LSU (shown above) was a gifted motivator and encourager. His words had a profound influence on Shaq, who later became a pretty good basketball player.
Who can you encourage? There are many people out there who rarely hear an encouraging word. One of my goals in life is to help street kids. Some of them have been abandoned by their parents, and that is definately not good for the self image. They not only need food, shelter and clothing, they also need encouragement and an education. More about street kids here http://wp.me/p2rHBL-1SB
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