Gymnasts and “Trying”


Don’t tell an athlete that they didn’t try

Tell them that they can try harder.

Is that splitting hairs?

Maybe. But hear me out.

“You aren’t trying” puts an athlete on the defensive. It demonstrates to that athlete that you don’t believe they are giving full effort. It tells the athlete you don’t trust her.

“I know you can try harder” challenges an athlete to give a little more. It signals your belief in the athlete. It tells the athlete to dig deeper.

Which is likely to give you a better result?

Just something to think about.