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Barney, Bobby Knight, and the In-Between

braingame coaching criticism feedback reframing Jul 06, 2023

How do you create suspense? I'll tell you later. LOL.

This is Mental Fitness Fridays and I'm Hans.

Frames around a pic tell us it's important. Significant. Mental frames do the same. They create focus and definition. In last week's positive coaching article, I didn't cover this: players interviewed for this article pushed back on the idea that coaching has to be all positivity all the time, or that the NHL has fully transformed.

The all or nothing faulty frame. An extreme take. The NHL does not have to be fully transformed to name or notice a change. All positive all of the time is a false frame.

It's like this — you are either a participation trophy coach or chair throwing Bobby Knight. There's no in-between. Positive coaching is seen as Barney the Purple Dinosaur — I love you, You Love Me, We're a Happy Family — with no criticism or challenges. Negative coaching — a raging Godzilla who attacks all the time. When coaching you and others, the in-between is knowing what's important now.

Don't use another frame: a cookie cutter. The Brain Problem often shows up like cookie monster. An over focus on cookies arrives. Ping ponging between the extremes creates a fearful and suspenseful vibe. Who's here, Bobby Knight or Tony Dungy?

In-between is hard. It requires self knowledge, reflection and hard work — a mentally fit approach. Here are some questions to consider.

Is my competition system quick, effective, flexible, respectful? What do I need to add, remove or change? What mental toughness myths create challenges? Does your change system push you to challenge mental toughness traps, myths, habits, and mental frames? Does your support system include people who you can trust to keep things private, challenge you when you are straying from important values and standards? Can they support you through loss, hurt, and disappointment? Do they love you for who you are and not what you do?

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