"Our primary goal is to return them to their original base. The secondary goal is go get them out." The high school baseball team was practicing throwing runners out at the bases.
The coach simulated pitching the ball, then the catcher would react to various runners on base. On one play the catcher stood up and threw the ball to second, where the advancing runner was tagged out. It was a great play. The coach was thrilled, so thrilled he said, "Now, why can't we do that during the game?" at least three times.
I wasn't at the game when it didn't happen as planned, but I instantly pictured it going wrong. Those kids that were there saw it in vivid detail. Maybe he was using some high-level negative thinking coaching skill, but it felt more like he was just instantly reacting in the practice. Each time he repeated the phrase, I kept thinking, "Now, why can't he say that in an affirmative manner instead."
PHRASES HE COULD HAVE USED TO REINFORCE THE RIGHT BEHAVIOR:
- Now, that's how we do it.
- That's the way this team works.
- Let's do that again, so in our next game it's automatic.
- Now that you see how that works, I want you to replay this in you mind over and over again.
- Image what your folks (the fans) will think when they see that in our next game.
- PIays run with that precision create winning seasons.