For High Octane Results Keep Emotional Tanks Full
If you want
your car to run and perform at its optimum level, you’ll always keep it fueled.
And each time you gas up, you’ll be sure to select a quality fuel at the pump.
If you neglect to properly fuel your car, performance will begin to suffer
When you’re a coach with finely-tuned, intricate and complex athletes under
your care, the same principle applies.
we’re going to take a close look at making sure your kids’ emotional tanks
always stay filled.
What Are Emotional Tanks?
Responsible Coaches ensure that their
athletes’ Emotional Tanks always remain full. A person’s Emotional Tank is a
bit like a car’s gas tank. When it’s full, we can go anywhere we want to. When
it’s empty then we have a hard time even backing out of the garage.
with full Emotional Tanks give Responsible Coaches some distinct advantages
because they are:
- More coachable and
likely to listen and respond without resistance.
- More optimistic.
- Better able to handle
Rule Of Thumb: Follow The “Magic Ratio”.
just how does a Responsible Coach go about filling his or her young athletes’
Emotional Tanks? By striking the right balance between specific, truthful
praise and specific, constructive criticism.
research from our partner at Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) indicates a
“Magic Ratio” of 5:1, meaning five praises to one criticism, which fosters the
ideal learning environment.
coaches find this hard to believe, because most of our own experience as youth
athletes, sons, daughters, and pupils has taught us that “coaching” equals
“correcting”, and therefore, praise can’t be coaching. But a Responsible Coach
who fills Emotional Tanks corrects players correctly.
key is avoiding empty, unearned praise. Remember, the praise must be truthful
and specific (i.e. not “way to go!”, but rather, “I’m glad to see you aimed at
the far post on your shot.”)
sure your non-verbal communication also maintains the “Magic Ratio” of 5:1. You
fill Emotional Tanks when you listen, nod, clap or smile. Tank drainers include
ignoring players, frowning, head-shaking, eye-rolling and yelling.
Athletes Fill Fellow Teammates Tanks.
making sure that you and your assistant coaches are striving for the 5:1 Magic
Ratio, teach your kids to also be consistent tank fillers, rather than
drainers. This is not always easy, especially when you’re coaching an extremely
competitive team, where the pressure is high and playing time is at a premium.
But the team that sticks together closest often wins the most too. Especially
if everyone already possesses a high level of talent.
the season kicks into high gear, let your young athletes know that:
- Each one of them has
an Emotional Tank that fills and drains when they receive praise and
- You don’t want to be
alone in filling tanks. You want them to act as tank fillers for each
- In an environment
where players are receiving five tank fillers for every one tank drainer
(the 5:1 “Magic Ratio”), their enjoyment and performance will increase.
- Teams that play at
home have a 60% chance of winning. We can take this “home field advantage”
with us wherever we play if we focus on filling each other’s tanks with
truthful and specific praise. This will help us win more.
all of your young athletes’ emotional tanks full can be tough, especially when
it comes to those who see little or no playing time. Remember that you can
praise reserves for ways they support the team from the bench (constant
positive chatter, pointing out something your opponent is doing to help a
teammate out, etc.). You can even find creative ways to utilize your bench,
such as having them analyze your opponent’s game strategy and offer suggestions
for how to beat it.
Coaches Have Tanks Too.
course, coaches are people too. And they also possess Emotional Tanks. Tanks
that can quickly get drained by high-pressure games, long hours and demanding
parents. A Responsible Sport
understands and respects that coaches have a tough job to do – and knows just
how, when and where to step in to help ensure that the coach’s Emotional Tank
is also filled.
to help the coach to ease the pressure.
Cheer for your coach the same way you do for
players on the field. “Great play call
coach!” Take time to congratulate the
coach after a big win. And pick them up
after a tough loss letting them know that you saw them give their best
effort. Say thank you at the end of the
season and let your coach know specifically what growth you’ve noticed in your
athlete thanks to the efforts of your coach.
more information on how you can keep your young athletes properly fueled and
running at a high level, visit ResponsibleSports.com.
And don’t forget, it’s not too
late to register for the Responsible Sports Spring Community Grant!