Games are filled with tons of emotion and lots of things get said at a pretty high intensity level.
Find out if your level is too high or just right by trying this exercise.
A few years back, I was working with a pitcher whose confidence was in the dumps. Her coach had a habit of always getting on her, and complained about every pitch she threw and how she threw them. During one trip to the mound, he lost his mind and started yelling at her – the result being she took on the coach’s view of her pitching, and no longer believed in herself.
To help this pitcher get used to loud, screaming coaches, I asked her to do a little exercise. I got my phone out and asked her to become the coach. I wanted her to yell at my phone as if she were the coach yelling at herself – the pitcher, as I recorded her. It sounded like a good idea to me, since I was going to replay it while she was pitching, thinking that would help her get used to those negative remarks, and eventually learn to ignore them.
But then something unexpected happened – she refused to become the coach. She would not repeat the things he said to her because it made her uncomfortable since the language was so bad!
Coaches, if you want a light bulb moment about how the words you speak are heard by your players, then you might want to think about this exercise. Would the things you say be something your players would feel comfortable recording and playing back to themselves? If the answer is yes, then great job – keep it up! But, if the answer is no – then you need to do some serious evaluation and understand that words matter! What you say to your players makes a huge impact on their performance, both positively and negatively. If you want your players to play with more confidence and believe in their abilities, then your words need to convey those kinds of feelings.
If your players would not want to imitate you in a recording because your words are too negative or vulgar, then Coach, it’s time you checked yourself at the gate. Remember, you’re there for them and not the other way around!
For more help with this topic check out the following: