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“Stop making turnovers!”

“Don’t turn the ball over!”

“Quit giving the ball away!”​​​​​​​

What are those statements?

Besides just being dumb,they are the top three statements my coach had when I was in college.


I don’t think it would come as a surprise that we were plagued with turnovers.

For reference a good player might make a mistake and give the ball to the other team once or twice a game.

We regularly had guys end with the turnovers being the high score on their stat sheet.

Some of those mistake were just dumb, but we had good players and those stats shouldn’t have been happening.

The human brain is incapable of thinking in the negative.a

Don’t believe me?

Ask any parent what would happen if they told their child “Don’t stick that fork in the electrical socket.”

You guessed it.

Oh you think this doesn’t apply because you are a grown up?

Don’t think about sleeping in…..

This is one of the first things we teach coaches.

Coach in the positive

There is a significant in these two phrases:

“Don’t let your knees cave in.”

“Push your knees out.”

Our words matter and how we talk to ourselves is important.

“I’m out of shape.”

“I’m not good with money.”

“I don’t eat well.”

“I’m not good with technology.”

“I don’t have pull ups.”

This concept isn’t about avoiding hard conversations with people or ourselves.

It is about getting to the desired outcome.

“I’m getting in shape.”

“I’m learning to budget”

“I’m working on my nutrition.”

“I’m learning something new.”

“I’m working on my pull ups.”

Subtle shifts in how we talk to ourselves matters.  The second set of statements assumes improvement and focuses on the process.  The first set just concedes losing.

Tell yourself you are doing a good job, going to get better, or are just in the process of it.

You’ll be happier while it happens and you’ll get the outcome you want.