You can become a true game-changer, someone who makes a big difference.  How? By the word ENCOURAGEMENT.  Encouragement is giving another person confidence, support, hope, motivation, strength, comfort. 

Encouraging words can make a difference.  They can bring healing and courage not only to yourself but to anyone around you.  They can make your team stronger, make your family more united, make the world a better place.

People motivation has been my lifelong passion since the day I coached my first basketball team at the University of Idaho in 1964.  I remember vividly the day I made a life-changing discovery in 1966.  I was walking to my basketball office at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.  Someone had given me my first Bible.  To my amazement, there were words of wisdom in the Bible about the issues every coach deals with: selfishness, worry, fear, courage, jealousy, envy, teamwork, and many more. 

I remember saying to myself, “If I learn this book well, I can help my players solve most of their problems.”  My interest in my players motivated me to study the psychology of human performance and the Bible to see how they correlated life principles.

By far the most valuable social skill I have discovered is the power of encouragement.  A few years ago at an NBC basketball camp, I set a personal goal to inspire teen basketball players to encourage one another.  I failed miserably.  How should I explain better?  Relate encouragement to oxygen.

Oxygen kills disease, destroys bad attitude, is necessary for life.  People can go for days without water but less than two minutes without oxygen. Therefore, we all need OXICOURAGE!

We all need to be built up continually.  It costs so little to be kind, to support another with encouraging words.  When we give oxicourage, we also receive. The Bible was wise:

I Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up…”