At one point during a game, the coach said to one of his young
players, "Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?" The
little boy nodded yes.

"Do you understand that what matters is whether we win together as a
team?" The little boy nodded yes.

"So," the coach continued, "when a strike is called, or you are out at
first, you don't argue or curse or attack the umpire. Do you
understand all that?" Again, the boy nodded yes.

"Good," said the coach. "Now go over there and explain it to your

What the coach wanted the boy's mother to understand is that
encouragement is vital to success. Encouragement builds teams and also
builds esteem. Encouragement works. In fact, the right kind of
encouragement, at the right time, can change a life.

Author Ron Dunn tells the story of two altar boys. One was born in
1892 in Eastern Europe. The other was born just three years later in a
small town in Illinois (USA). Though their lives were quite different,
these two boys shared a similar experience.

Each altar boy assisted his parish priest in the celebration of Mass.
While handling the chalice during Holy Eucharist, they both
accidentally spilled some of the wine on the carpet.

But this is where their stories diverge. The priest in the Eastern
European church, seeing the purple stain, slapped the altar boy across
the face and shouted, "Clumsy oaf! Leave the altar." He did. The
little boy grew up to become the atheist and communist dictator of
Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito.

The priest in the church in Illinois, upon seeing the wine stain,
knelt down beside the boy and looked him tenderly in the eyes and
said, "It's all right, son. You'll do better next time. You'll be a
fine priest for God someday." That little boy grew up to become the
much loved Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.

We will never know how much a kind and encouraging word from the
priest, or the lack of one, influenced these boys' lives. But kindness
and instruction are always far more valuable than anger and criticism.

Encouragement works.

Author's Bio: 

Steve Goodier is a professional speaker, consultant and author of numerous books.
Visit his site for more information, or to sign up for his FREE newsletter of
Life, Love and Laughter - Your Life Support System - at .