How to Use Positive Thinking in youth Sport Part 2
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Dr. Dan Gould discusses using positive thinking in youth sport.


Speaker: So now that you've identified some positive and negative thoughts, what makes positive thoughts so useful, why is positive thinking good? Positive thinking is important because your thoughts influence how you behave and how you perform in sport. If you feel crappy, it's harder to perform well and be motivated. Stinking thinking makes having fun and performing well in sport, much harder. Now what we're going to do is exercise here to help see the benefits of the power of positive thinking and I have John here to help me, our baseball player, and I'm just going to have them do some push-ups for me and we'll do it under two different conditions. So John, go ahead, push-up position. Then I want you to do ten, do ten really good ones, ready? Go. Oh! So heavy. Your arms are -- oh, you're tired, you're breaking your form, you're not doing very well, you sure you can make it? You've already done a bunch today, you're getting tired, you're not very good. Okay. Let's take a break, take a little rest and we'll come back in a second. Okay. John, now I want you to do ten more. So get in your push-up position, okay, ready? Go. You're doing great! Good position, you're strong, just feel how strong your arms are, great! Good form, you're strong, you can make it, you can do it. You're the man! Go, great! Okay. So what we did there, we did negative and then we did like positive. So I said a lot of negative things the first time, a lot of positive the second time. Which situation was easier? John: Probably the positive because you were encouraging me and you were telling me and I've got that extra genuine rush to make me go further and to do better and to finish those push-ups. Speaker: Okay. When we did the negative, what did it feel like? John: Felt sort of discouraging like that, I know when someone is not rooting for me, telling me I can't do it, I ended up just doing it, but it was harder than the positive. Speaker: Okay, good. Well, this is just a little exercise we did it. It's a little bit artificial, it's not real, but when you're out there pitching and in your head, you're kind of your coach, you don't have me here. But sometimes you're telling yourself positive things; sometimes you're telling yourself negative things. Now how do the positive things, what did they do here, help or hurt you? John: Help me a lot. Speaker: Okay. So what does that mean when you're out in the mound, pitching? John: That if you encourage yourself more, you probably can to do better. Speaker: Okay. What does it mean when you're tired and they're hitting you, what kind of thoughts do you want? John: You have positive thoughts because that will help even though you're doing pretty bad and you have negative thoughts, if you turn those into positive thoughts, that will help you along the way. Speaker: Great! That's what you want to remember, because it's tough when you're not playing well, but you want to remember to focus on those positive thoughts, because that's the power of positive thinking. John: Yes. Speaker: Performing in sport is sort of like this. If your mind is constantly filled with negative thoughts and you're engaged in stinking thinking, then you won't do as well or have as much fun. The problem is that things don't always go well in sport. Learning new skills is harder times. Sometimes your body does not follow your directions, or we get beat by other kids. So it really helps to get into the habit of thinking positive and learning how to stop stinking thinking. There are several ways to do this. A great way to make sure we keep a positive mindset is to get in the habit of recognizing daily highlights. Just like ESPN, you can take a few minutes to focus on the highlights of your day, some kids write these down, others just think about them at a certain time, for example, before they go to bed. What positive things happened at your last practice or game? Speaker1: Last game, I had a give and go in an alley with one of my teammates and those are really good because we got all the players and we made a whoop and the defense got really frustrated. Speaker2: Well, to come to the question, getting to the bottom of the coach being probably really good while that run, that was -- I mean that really helps me when someone says I did something well. Speaker3: In practice if you hit a couple of homeruns, in just sort of batting practice or like if you pitch in like you strike people out through your own practice, you feel pretty good. Speaker4: I stayed strong and I was good at defense. Speaker5: My backhand was good and my forehand and my serve was pretty good. So my whole game I've seen go up from that practice. Speaker6: Well, at my last practice I tried a front two-and-a-half off one meter for the first time. I mean, I did lots of doubles that were right on, I spun fast, I allowed it to height and then when I had to do it, I stood on the board and I thought okay, I can do this and I just had the go.