Cheering Others to Victory
by David DeFord
Sports teams love to play before their home crowds.
Except for very rare exceptions, every professional
and college team wins more games at home than they
win on the road.
The energy of the partisan crowd creates this home-
Athletic teams consider their home fans as
contributing members of their teams. The energetic
roar of the encouraging home crowd helps their athletes
win. Performance improves when exposed to the
collective energy of thousands of well-wishers.
In basketball, they call the home crowd “the sixth man.”
As a former athlete, I know of the powerful influence
of cheering fans. My confidence rose when I received
strength from cheering family and friends.
The influence of parents shouting for their sons and
daughters at soccer, baseball, and basketball games
cannot be measured, but its evidence is apparent.
In my marathon running days, I loved to hear the shouts
of encouragement when I didn’t know if I could muster
the strength finish the race. Their signs read, “Meet you
at the finish line” and “You can do it.” They helped me
raise my sights upward from my flagging energy stores
to my eventual triumphal crossing of the finish line.
Some people encourage us to victory. Others send us
messages of doubt. The pessimists seem to want us to
stay in the status quo as if in our success we would leave
What influence do you have on your family and friends?
Do you encourage their growth and development? Do
they gain confidence in your presence?
You probably do not realize the power of your influence
in helping elevate those around you. You have the power
to energize them in their life quests. You can help boost
their confidence. You can help them raise their sights to
As you cheer them on, you can help them press past
fatigue and discouragement. Your words of “You can
do it” give them energy for their journeys to improvement.
Focus your conversations toward positive reinforce-
ment. If a friend or family member needs some
redirecting, do it in an encouraging and confidence-
building way. Let them know of your faith in them.
You can become “the sixth man” to your friends striving
toward personal triumphs. You can boost their
performance enough to help them achieve the victories
You can provide the home-field advantage.
I strive to be your “sixth man.” Go get ‘em!
Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. John C. Maxwell
A good objective of leadership is to help those who are
doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing
well to do even better. Jim Rohn
Respect the man, and he will do the more. James Howell
Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.
Caring comes from being able to put yourself in the
position of the other person. If you cannot imagine,
‘This might happen to me,’ you are able to say to
yourself with indifference, ‘Who cares?’
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