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The Power of Faith in a Student

Title – The power of faith in a student
By – Matt Curless

When I was in my fourth year of teaching, I was also (and still am) a high school track and field coach. One year, I had a junior, John, enroll in my art class. John had transferred to our school from Greece, and seemed to be interested in athletics, so I encouraged him to join our track team. I explained to him that even though he had never participated in it before, I had a lot of faith that he could do well in any event, and I would be willing to coach him at whichever ones interested him. He accepted the offer, and began to work hard at every practice.

About a month later, I had found out from other sources that John was a phenomenal tennis player, winning various junior awards back in his home country. I approached him asking, “John, I really appreciate that you came out for the track team, but why didn’t you play tennis instead? It seems like that would interest you a lot more, since you’re so good at it.”

John replied, “Well, I like tennis, but you told me that you believed in me, and that you thought I could do well in track, so I wanted to try it for that reason.”

From then on, I haven’t forgotten about the power of encouragement… no matter how critical students can be of themselves, I’ve found that a simple, “I trust that you can do it!” can go a long way!

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