How Many Coaches Teach Their Players Positive Self Talk?

by Jeff Zimmerman
(St.Joseph, Michigan)

How many coaches teach their players to change their self-talk?

I am a middle school guidance counselor in southwestern Michigan. One part of my job is to teach a class to 6th graders on understanding emotions and making good decisions. We spend a great deal of time dealing with understanding self-talk.

I have recently begun thinking on how I can systematically teach these concepts to my volleyball players. I use a form of cognitive behavior therapy; both in class and on the volleyball court.

I would be interested hearing from other coaches who are interested in this area. I would like to hear how other coaches teach self-talk to their players and change their self-talk from negative to positive.

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About Positive Self Talk and Positive Thoughts
by: Coach at

Jeff, teaching self-talk is an interesting and important topic. Positive self-talk will be beneficial for the kids - not just in volleyball but in all venues of life.

I am definitely not a professional in teaching self-talk, but still I try to bring up the importance of having positive thoughts and being positive.

For example, if I hear somebody saying: "Oh, it is impossible for me to ever hit like that..", I talk to the player and try to encourage him/her to have more positive thoughts.

"Nothing is impossible. It maybe difficult and need lots of work to get into that level, but anything can be accomplished. Therefore maybe we shouldn't use the word 'impossible', right?"...

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