For many years I coached my Grandson – Jackson in soccer. Unfortunately, I was not able to coach him this particular season. The other day I watched anxiously from the sideline while he played. He is a natural athlete and was having a great game. However, the coach inside of me started to emerge and I found that there was something really important I wanted to tell him that would help him gain a significant competitive advantage.
At half-time, he came over to where we sat on the sideline. He first went to his father, who lovingly gave him a number of things to work on. He then went to his mother, who also very lovingly gave him an idea or two to help him.
After that, I called him over to me and I intended to tell him my observations, all to help him of course. However, as he came towards me something happened. I suddenly changed my mind and refrained from giving any advice or criticism. I simply gave a high five and said, “I wanted to say great job.”
He smiled and he ran back onto the field with energy.
There are times when we need to give constructive advice. Then again, there are times when we simply need to be encouraging. The thing I had to tell him could wait. What was more important was that he felt my support, approval, and love.