Our words show what we think about the athletes

Talking reveals the conception that people have of their listeners, in the case of coaches it reveals their attitude towards athletes.
It is obviously not a matter of grammatical knowledge but of a way of expressing oneself in which the accent is placed on the athletes highlighting their passive conception by the coach. As if they are people who change in reaction to the stimulus (the coach’s words) and not as active agents of their own improvement.

In fact it is frequent to hear sentences of this type (I don’t know if these translations are right, because I suppose there are slang sentences expressing better the passive conception of the athletes):

  • You have to motivate the athletes
  • Training must go to improve athletes’ skills
  • It’s clear that this one immediately breaks down
  • Stimulating them makes them mentally engaged
  • When I go to do visualize my athlete

These statements are just some of the many that I hear expressed on the fields and that describe the coach as a kind of magician who changes people. This attitude reveals a conception of the athlete as the one who must react and the coach as the trainer of people who cannot improve without such guidance style.

Have you ever thought about the words you use? And the effect they have on the athletes you train? Are you working to increases the athletes’ awareness and self-determination?

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