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Comets of Charles County Track & Field

Positive Coaching Alliance Talking Points

Our Mission: Positive Coaching Alliance is a national non-profit developing “Better Athletes, Better People” by working to provide all youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building youth sports experience. http://www.positivecoach.org/


Winner's Circle/Emotional Tank


  • To be the best team we can be, let's help each other get better. One way to do that is by filling our teammates' Emotional Tanks.
  • The Emotional Tank is like a car's gas tank. When it's empty, you can't go far, but when it's full you can go almost anywhere. Teams with full Emotional Tanks usually do better than teams whose tanks are drained.
  • You can fill each other's Emotional Tanks by noticing people who help you or the team and thanking them for it.
  • You can also fill Emotional Tanks by cheering for your teammates, giving them high-fives, smiling at them and telling them you are glad they are on the team.
  • To fill each other's Emotional Tanks, we're going to get into a "Winner's Circle" after each game, and you will get the chance to tell your teammates the good things they did during the game


Teachable Spirit


Sport is about more than winning on the scoreboard.  It's about helping you become better people who will succeed in life after you are done with sports.  
We want you to fulfill your potential as individuals who will make the world a better place.
We will do that by helping you become a Triple-Impact Competitor®, focused on having three levels of impact by improving yourself, your teammates and the game as a whole.  Having a "teachable spirit" is the key to becoming a Triple-Impact Competitor.  Having a teachable spirit means being a sponge, willing and able to absorb everything that can make you a better player and us a better team.  We want you to be curious.

Dealing With Pressure (The 3 B’s)


Sometimes we get nervous when we think making a play or winning a game is really important. Sometimes we get so nervous we “choke.”
Do you know what choking is? It’s when you can make a play quite easily in practice but then in a pressure moment you don’t perform as well, because you are so nervous and that nervous energy gets in the way. There is nothing wrong with getting nervous. Nervous is normal. It just means that you care about what you are doing. It also means you have some energy that you can use. The key is to control your nervousness so you can use your energy to do your best in a crunch-time situation when performing well seems so important.

I want to teach you a way to deal with pressure. It’s called the 3 B’s.

The first B is Breathe!

When we get nervous we don’t get as much oxygen into our body so we need to remember to take a deep breath. Take a deep breath right now.

Then Bounce!

When we are nervous we tend to lose the connection between our feet and the ground. So we bounce to regain that connection. Bounce a few times right now.

The final B is Break!

We do this by clapping our hands together. This sends energy through your body and gets you ready to act. Go ahead and clap.

Now let’s put them all together: Breathe, Bounce, Break!

Emotional Tank


Earlier we talked about Filling Emotional Tanks. Here is additional information about Filling Emotional Tanks.

  • The Emotional Tank is like the gas tank in a car. If your car's gas tank is empty, you can't go very far. Teams with full Emotional Tanks usually do better than teams where the E-Tanks are drained.
  • People do best when they get about five truthful and specific pieces of praise ("tank-fillers") for each piece of specific, constructive criticism they receive. This 5-to-1 ratio is called the Magic Ratio, because sometimes we can do things that seem like magic when we get our E-Tank filled a lot.
  • Remember that you don't always have to speak to fill someone's E-Tank. A smile, a high-five, a head nod, all these non-verbal signals fill E-Tanks.
  • This week I'd like us to increase our focus on giving tank-fillers to each other. Let's really look for good things our teammates are doing and let them know we appreciate it.
  • Remember, we don't want to say anything that isn't true. Don't just make up something because you want to fill someone's E-Tank. Look for true things that you can recognize or thank people for.

Master the Art of Competing with Yourself


Is it hard to compare yourself with your earlier self and not compare yourself with other people? Would it help you if you could?

  • Learning to compete is an important part of being an athlete, and the biggest competition is with ourselves.
  • Too often we compare ourselves to other people. If they can do more things or do them better than we can we may get discouraged. Instead, we should focus on what we can do now that we couldn't do before, so that you can say, "I am better now than I was a few weeks ago."
  • When you compare yourself now to how you used to be, you'll be encouraged. If you have worked hard and remembered DIMITT (Determination Is More Important Than Talent), then you have probably improved and you are winning the competition with yourself.

Finishing Strong


  • Sometimes players stop trying hard near the end of the season. If they are tired, it is harder to give their best.
  • I want us to Finish Strong. That means playing with as much enthusiasm and effort at the end of the season as you did at the beginning.
  • Some people stop learning at the end of a season, but you can learn as much as you did at the start if you keep up your Teachable Spirit.
  • At some point, this season will end. Our time together as this team will never happen again. Even if you return to this team next year, it will be different, so enjoy it now while you can.
  • Thank your coaches and teammates who have helped you this season. Expressing appreciation to people who help you fills their Emotional Tanks.
  • Finishing Strong is also a way to say "Thank you."

Pressure is a Privilege


Teams that qualify for the post-season are usually doing a lot right. The teams that play their best in the post-season usually keep doing what they've been doing, so let's keep doing the things that got us here, the things a Triple-Impact Competitor® does. 

Tennis great Billie Jean King said: "Pressure is a privilege." She meant that most athletes and teams don't get to play in games where a lot is at stake. But pressure degrades performance when athletes focus on what-ifs rather than what they need to do – "What if I mess up? What if we get beat?" 

If you get nervous, just focus on what you need to do next. Let the results of the game take care of themselves. 

For more information, visit: http://www.positivecoach.org/