Daily Thought: Drills and Positivity

female and male runners on a marathon

I can summarise the complex formula for success in sports in two simple terms: drills and positivity. The rest, while being ancillary, is secondary, and its implementation into your coaching plans depends on the two primary terms.

And I’m not exaggerating when I write this, nor am I being provocative. It is that straightforward.

I guarantee that a balanced combination of drills and positive reinforcement will yield excellent results. Yes, every athlete is different; however, this formula offers the most optimal outcome for your classes.

Drills and positivity
Drills Make Skills

The common contention to my proposal is that “sometimes you have to be strict and strong with athletes to get them to work,” which is true. My objection to those who claim this is, invariably, that strict and firm direction doesn’t imply degrading an athlete. And if you can’t understand this, you may need to find a different job because coaching isn’t for you.

In their defence, most people who argue with my drills and positivity formula aren’t mean or angry; instead, their definition of positivity needs revision.

Positivity is often confused with continuous, uninterrupted happiness, a mistake likely caused by a misinterpretation of positive psychology.

Being happy all the time is impossible, and trying it is potentially inadvisable. Instead, positivity is about resilience.


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Positivity is the ability to deal with adversity and the undesirable aspect of life. In a more general sense, positivity is knowing how to cope with those events we wish didn’t happen.

This concept is the positivity I recommend you adopt. As complex beings, athletes will bring their feelings and issues to practice, and these will sometimes interfere with their progress.

Remember that even if force is justifiable, its use must be strategic. And, more often than not, negative communication will cause you to lose your athletes’ love and respect.

Conversely, a positive and enthusiastic attitude in the gym will invigorate your athletes’ love for you and the sport. Moreover, and this it the critical part, this will enhance your athletes’ self-confidence in the gym.

Drills and positivity – I recommend them both.

Thank you for reading.

Coach José

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