I hear stories all the time about little kids quitting a sport when they are six and seven years old because their coach made them feel so bad about themselves.
This kind of stories breaks my heart. Not only for the kid but lost opportunities because some jerk in a position to positively influence them, decided to exhibit their gutless power over a child.
This past weekend I was involved in a lot of coaching of six and seven years old's. Teaching skills, the games, and getting them not to chase every butterfly that comes along is a tough task.
They are restless, full of wonder and sometimes the last thing they want to do is stand on a field and wait for a ball to come to them.
But a lesson I always learn from coaching young kids is just how much influence with have on them. We should never take that for granted. As someone positive in their life, we can either catapult them to the next step or make them stop right in their tracks. Encouragement, high fives, good-jobs, atta-boys, and pats on the back are what make these kid's day.
The lesson goes just beyond children. We will influence tens of thousands of people in our lifetime. How we make these people feel is eventually our legacy.
JR Miller said, "There have been meetings of only one moment which have left impressions for life, for eternity. No one of us can understand that mysterious thing we call influence...yet out of every one of us continuous virtue goes, either to heal, to bless, to leave marks of beauty; or to wound, to hurt, to poison, to stain other lives."
Don't take your influence for granted. For as many people as you can be a blessing, a positive vibe, a go-to for encouragement in their life.