My youngest son is on the 7th grade basketball team at school. They are a fun team to watch, with great dynamics between players – teammates, but also friends. Any coach will tell you this is a key element to a successful team.
The boys played against a team the other night who weren’t as lucky. This team was brand new. They had played basketball before, but never together. They were just learning about their specific team dynamics. There were only six boys on the team and they all played with heart, for sure, but it wasn’t enough to win against our boys, who play with one heart.
The other team only scored three points the entire game. Now, you might think that would be defeating to the boys, but I am fairly certain they were not looking at the scoreboard. When the ball went into the basket, you would have thought they just made the game winning shot. The team, coach, and players jumped in the air to clap and cheer like it was a shot worthy of the BCSN highlight reel.
The shot may not have been worthy to take notice, but the reaction sure was.
In his book, Love Does, Bob Goff talks about kindness. He says kindness is one of those things we should never hold back on. He thinks the simple concept of showing love and encouraging others could possibly change the world. I think he might be on to something – and maybe the coach from that team understood this too.
You see, the coach could have done a lot of yelling and critiquing during the basketball game. He could have made the boys feel worse than they already felt, but instead, he chose to focus on the good things that were happening on the court. Any wise coach would tell you there is value in encouraging a team. This young coach was impressive as he showed up for his kids, and in true Bob Goff fashion, he brought balloons – in the form of encouraging words and celebration. I watched the kids on the other team play an exhausting hour of basketball. They were the underdog, unevenly matched, but never once gave up. I did not see one kid hang his head – but I saw all six smile and high five over three lousy points. There is no doubt in my mind that their world was changed for the better that night, all because one coach decided to focus on the good.
If you’ve read any of Bob’s books or heard him speak, you are familiar with his extravagance. He just has an intense desire to lift up and encourage others. With each person we show up for, we help change the world. The coach helped change the world of his basketball players with two simple shots and lots of excitement. It was a great teachable moment for me, and I hope you will see it too.
We need to show up for each other – not just when it is convenient, but every.single.day. We need to quit waiting for people to ask us for help and open our eyes to the opportunities before us. Guys, we need to cheer extravagantly for three points. That looks different every day. So, grab your balloons in the form of a dinner pan, encouraging card, simple act of kindness, or humble generosity and start changing the world. People – friends and strangers alike – need you.
What will you do to extravagantly love others?