His Dad died when he was 9. Four years later his Mum was institutionalised. At 13, he had noone but his Grandma. So he went to a boarding school for orphans.
He went on to become a pioneer in American basketball, and the first African American to coach an ACC basketball team. He’s in the basketball hall of fame.
When he retired from coaching, he became the global basketball sports marketing director for Nike.
His name is George Raveling. Not bad for a poor kid from the orphanage.
Pivotal in his life was a nun called Sister Delores. She became a champion for him at his boarding school.
“She saw something in me that I never saw in myself. I’d never had anybody look at me and make me think I could be anything other than average.”
Once he took up basketball, there was Sister Delores again, helping him to notice his own improvement.
“When I look back on it now, a lot of it was Sister Delores encouraging me, telling me, ‘Oh, you’re getting better.’ She kept me motivated all the time.”
Coach Raveling is in his 80s now. When he looks back on his life, and his achievements, he thinks of the people who helped him to see himself differently.
“That’s been a lot of the relevance for this magical carpet ride I’ve had, people seeing something in me that I didn’t see in myself. My grandma seeing something in me. Sister Delores seeing something in me. My high school coach seeing something in me.”
In Solution Focused Therapy, this is exactly what we seek to do. Rather than build a story of “what’s wrong with you”, we help you see the something in you that you may have otherwise missed.
Everyone can benefit from a Sister Delores who helps us to see our strengths and our brilliance.
In many ways, the job of the therapist is to help you discover that about you. To help you notice your own progress along the way.
To help you become your own Sister Delores who tells yourself: “I see something in you. You’re special. You’re brilliant. And what’s more, you’re getting even better.”