I wrote a letter to myself, it was my own brag sheet. My own letter about the things I was proud of. Because there are moments, and we’ll all experience them in our career, in our lives, in our job hunting, in our relationships; when we are not feeling good about who, and what, and where we are.
And I had to bring out that letter and read it time and time again, for a period of about two weeks, to weather me through that storm. It was important.
Stop the negative self-talk. If you watch you’ll see some athletes that have a little bandage, or a little brand around them.
Lance Armstrong is a perfect one. What’s his self-affirmation? Livestrong isn’t a brand, it was to remind him of who he was. Live strong. Then it became a brand. He would move that from one arm to the next arm, when doubt and fear came into his mind. Live strong, put it on there, let’s go. We’ll all have it, we place it.
Two ways to build self-confidence. I’m worried about my time, I’m going to tell you of one way you can build self-confidence in others. We are coaches and educators, we are teachers, we are people who will create value in the world; and in doing that, we are critical by the nature of what we do.
I am a coach, I want you to score a goal. The ball went over high. “Dang it!” The ball went high! “Thank you coach, I know that. Feedback tells me that.”
So what do we do? I need you to put your elbow here, I need you to put your knee over the ball, I need you to follow through. Boom. Land. Great.
Notice, I never made it as a professional. What can we do? We fix mistakes. When I’m fixing that mistake: “Johnny, this is terrible, you need to bend your knee, you need to do this, this.”
What have I done to Johnny’s self-confidence? Bend your knee, then do this, then do this. Next thing you know, Johnny’s crushed. Ignore what Johnny does wrong and find Bob or Sally or Freda over here. Great goal Freda, I love how you kept your knee low, you followed through, and you landed like this. Great job!
Johnny: “Oh?” Great! Johnny’s not demoralized. His confidence isn’t shot, and what I’ve done is, I’ve built up Freda’s. Imagine how we could change the way we parented kids. Instead of: “get that glass off the counter, what’s wrong with you?”
If we catch the mother, good. Great job! Great job. Thank you Alice for taking your glass to the counter. It sounds simple but we forget about it. Or as educators, or as somebody as a team, if we manage to praise the positive behavior that we wanted to reinforce. We forget it. It sounds so simple.
Catch them when they’re good. We forget it. It’s simple.
Here’s what they did.
There was a study in Kansas that did this. They did video, and we all do video. And we show the video of them doing the run of the play: “Um, this goal happened because the basket wasn’t protected, we didn’t rotate here, right? We needed to do this and then cover the slot.”
And, if that’s the baseline, improvement of the Kansas State team went like this. Then, they said they ignored all of that and they just showed them the times they did it right. The times they did it perfect. That presented no goals, spoke to the same points, improvement went like that.
It changed and revolutionized the way we as coaches interact with our student athletes. We can apply that to the business world, we can apply that to our student group works, we can apply that to our management teams.
Easily: catch them when they are good.
Last and certainly not least. My son is really good at this. Self-confident people interpret feedback the way they choose to. I ask my son who is by the far a terrible, terrible athlete, gets it from his dad.
The game’s…How’s the game? Oh great! I scored three goals, I got two assists. I’m like: “I did not see him touch the puck!” But he has his own perception of how he did! I love it!
Right? I’m the…I’m that guy! I’m like: “I remember when I was taking when I met my wife, it was in the commons. “Paulie, would you like to go to the movies? Ladies? Tingly, tingly, tingle.”
And she goes: “Ah, no.” I asked her again. Because I think that she just hasn’t seen me in the right light.
Maybe, that’s not the wrong shirt on. Right? Because I’m interpreting that the way I want to interpret it.
Finally I asked her out again. She gave me this one comment, right? Or, she sent it to her friend. Because that’s the way you did it back then. “She wouldn’t date you unless there was the last person on Earth, hell was freezing over, there was a small chance we had to save the planet Earth. Some people, it’s like, there’s no chance.