Encouragement is something we all thrive off in many areas of our lives, it motivates us, drives us, inspires us and often gives us a reason to keep going when perhaps we don’t see too much light at the end of the tunnel.
One thing however in encouragement and motivation that is key is the language that we use to deliver our message. I would like to share with you the below extract which I came across recently which I believe sums up the situation very nicely.
“Everyone genuinely wants to help encourage everyone else, this is special. One thing we should realise is the power and impact of what we say to each other when we are training.
Once you realise this you have to give some thought to what you are saying.Typically when an athlete is training hard he listens and reacts to your instructions subconsciously, this is really important to understand.
There are subtle yet massive differences between the following two instructions which in the cold light of day seem to be saying the same thing:
Often when you say “don’t stop” the only part the athlete hears is “stop” and what do they do?….. Stop. And even if they don’t it makes them think about it. Much better to say keep going. “Don’t slow down” should be “keep the pace” or “go faster”
Listen to yourself each time you are chatting to the athlete and be sure to correct your speech.”
No matter if you train in a group or on your own there is a very simple lesson to be learnt from this small extract in that the words that we speak to others or even just to ourselves to try and encourage and motivate must be very carefully chosen to have the highest effect on the person that we are aiming them at!