My son, Taylor is the JV coach for Bound Brook High School in NJ. My husband and I attend all of their home games not only because we miss watching high school sports now that our sons are older but also because we love watching Taylor, coach. At the home games, the Bound Brook player's bench is on one side of the gym and the bleachers for the fans on the other. Although we can see Taylor, we can't hear what he says to the players during timeouts. Last evening, Bound Brook played my high school alma mater, Immaculata at Immaculata and we sat right behind my son and his players. Such a different perspective. At every time out, when the players sat on the bench and my son stood talking and coaching them we were facing him and could hear his every word. The game started tough...Bound Brook was down 11-0 quickly. At one point they were down by 14. Then suddenly, little by little, Bound Brook's score started creeping up. My son's message was well thought out each time he spoke to the players and he remained calm and even tempered. With only seconds left in the game, Bound Brook found themselves down by two. A timeout was called. I watched my son explain to his team the play they were to execute. Once he was finished explaining the play, he looked at the player who would be taking the shot, then at the other four players going in, and in a low-key but confident tone said, "...and when you make the shot and we take the lead...we are going to play strong defense." I knew in my heart at that very moment they were going to win the game because of just one word..." when". He said to them "when you make the shot" and not "if" you make the shot". What an empowering message he sent those young men back on to the court with. He let them know, in just one word that he was confident and truly believed that they were going to make the shot and then play strong defense. And that is exactly what happened...a 3 point shot putting them ahead by one and ten or so seconds later Bound Brook ended up winning the game by three. Later in the evening I mentioned to Taylor how empowering his message was worded to his team and he said that was exactly why he did it...he knew that positive verbiage would put them in a positive mindset.
I decided to use Taylor's story on my blog today. What a difference one word can make in someone's day. Whether you are a CEO...a coach...a leader...a teacher...a parent or anyone who interacts with people every day, always remember that one word, just one word can make all the difference in how you leave that person feeling as they walk away. How strong of a responsibility we have in choosing the right words. When choosing a word...choose wisely. Thank you, Taylor, for reminding me of this.