Principle #2: Filling Emotional Tanks
This theme talks about how players who have FULL emotional tanks will have more fun and perform better. The thought-provoking piece of this theme is that, according to research studies, coaches should achieve a 5:1 ratio of positives to negatives with their players to keep their tanks full! Coaches can use both verbal and non-verbal cues to attain this ratio in a meaningful way. We stress that coaches are still teaching when they are giving positive feedback, and we illustrate how they can effectively correct mistakes within the context of this 5:1 ratio.
Following is a script you can use to explain Filling Emotional Tanks to your players. You probably will want to alter this script, depending on the players’ ages and level of competition, as well as your own personal style. However, the core message here can empower players of all ages.
To play our best all of the time, we have to keep our "Emotional Tanks" full. An Emotional Tank is like a car’s gas tank. When it’s full, we run well, but when it is empty, we don’t. It’s important to keep each other's tanks full, because that keeps us optimistic and trying hard even if things aren’t going so well for our team.
To have a really great season, I need your help. Think about when you strike out. If your teammates make fun of you, they are draining your emotional tank. But if your teammates support you, saying something like, “Don’t worry, you’ll get a hit next time,” then your tank will stay full.
Here are some ways to fill emotional tanks:
Tell your teammate when you see him do something well, or when you see him giving his best effort, even if he does not make the play.
Tell him when you see him improving. This will make him want to keep trying hard to improve even more.
Listen to your teammates if they have ideas they want to share.
I promise to do all of these things. Even when I have to correct you, to help you learn and improve, I will try to do it in a way that keeps your emotional tank full. One way you can help me is called the Buddy System. Sometimes, I’ll ask you to pair up with a buddy and look for things that your teammate is doing well.
You have to be truthful, or else it won't mean anything, and tell your buddy exactly what he did right. If he hits a line drive, say, “That was a great level swing.”
So, right now, pair up with someone else, and he will be your buddy for today's practice. Later in the practice, I am going to have each one of you report back to the team on what your buddy said to you to fill your tank.
This season is going to be great if we support each other and keep our emotional tanks full. With full emotional tanks, we will be off to the races, and there is no limit to what we can accomplish.
This information is brought to you by Positive Coaching Alliance. To learn more, please visit www.positivecoach.org
Courtesy Little League International