This is an extraordinary exercise to show fellow coaches and your players the power of mindset and positive thinking. I won’t claim it as my own, but will thank Susan Jeffers, author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.
Have a member of your team stand in front of the group. For effect, choose the biggest, most boisterous player.
Ask them to raise their arm so it is at 90 degrees to the body. Tell him you are going to push his arm back down by his side and to resist you.
Before pushing however, tell him he is strong and worthy. Tell him he is a rock and an immovable mountain. Get him to repeat “I am strong and worthy” 4/5 times.
Try push his arm down – you won’t be able to!
The second part is to tell him he is weak and unworthy. He is a feather in the wind. Get him to repeat that he is weak and unworthy.
This time you will effortlessly push his arm down.
All that has changed is your players mindset. Only 30 seconds worth of suggestion and feedback from the coach, and some negative self-talk, results in the physical performance of your player being completely corrupted.
Using positive self-talk and suggestion from coaches increases performance greatly.
How we use this is our field is up to the coach, but consider the impact it is having on the performance on your players. Use suggestion and feedback wisely!