The Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) has developed Positive Coaching Scripts to help coaches introduce positive coaching principles to their teams. Scripts should not be memorized or recited word-for-word. Read through the script and then put the ideas into your own language, words you feel comfortable using when talking to your team.
POSITIVE COACHING SCRIPT FOR REDEFINING” WINNER” (ELM TREE OF MASTERY)
NOTE- The script below is adapted from the Positive Coaching Alliance.
Lacrosse is a great game. It’s a lot of fun to play and its also a way that we learn important lessons that can help us later in life. I know that I learned a lot from playing competitive sports when I was your age. I want to tell you about a goal I have for the team and for each of you individually this season. “I want each of us to “act like a winner to be a winner.”
There are two kinds of winners. What is one kind of winner? What does “winner” mean to you? (Answer likely to be something like “The one with the most points at the end of the game.”)
One kind of winner is the team that has the most points on the scoreboard at the end of the game. And we want to be that type of winner. We want to work as hard as we can to win as many games as we can. There is another type of winner, though, and that is just as important. That is the winner in life. We want to learn from this season how to be a winner in everything that we do, not just lacrosse.
To be a winner we need to start acting like a winner. And a winner is someone who is working for mastery of whatever activity he or she is doing. So in lacrosse we want to work toward mastery to be the best lacrosse player and best team we can be. And we want to learn how to achieve mastery at anything we want to be good at.
To help understand the way the way that we achieve mastery, we use the example of a tree that we call the Tree of Mastery. If you climb the Tree of Mastery you will be successful. We say that the Tree of Mastery is an ELM tree because there are three things you need to do to climb the ELM Tree of Mastery:
1) E IS FOR EFFORT We want to give our best effort every time we come out on the field. I am more concerned that we try our hardest than I am with a win. We could win against a weak team and without giving our best effort, and that doesn’t really mean anything.
On the other hand we could play a team that was stronger than we are and try our hardest and lose. I would be proud of us in that case because we were acting like winners by trying our hardest even thought he other team ended up wining the game on the scoreboard.
So the first part of the ELM Tree is E for Effort.
2)L IS FOR LEARNING We want to continue learning and improving every week in practice and every time we play a game. If we continue to learn, we will get better and that is more important than whether we are better than some other team.
We could be better than another team without learning and improving if that team is a weak team. And we could be weaker than another team but be learning a lot and getting better all the time. It’s more important to me that we learn and improve even if we lose to a team that is stronger than we are.
So the second part of the ELM Tree is L for Learning.
3)M IS FOR HOW WE RESPOND TO MISTAKES Most people think its bad to make a mistake. But mistakes are part of the learning process. You can’t learn something as complicated as lacrosse if you are afraid to make a mistake. And even people that are afraid to make a mistake often don’t even try very hard. So yes, it’s okay to make a mistake on this team. We want to learn from our mistakes and not let them discourage us or keep us from working hard.
So is it okay to make a mistake on this team? Yes it is. And the third part of the ELM tree is M for how we respond to a mistake.
Acting like a winner involves three things. It means:
-Giving your best effort every time -Continuing to learn and improve, and -Not letting mistakes (or fear of making a mistake) stop you.
If you do these three things, you are acting like a winner, and you will be a winner in life as well as lacrosse.
Before we move on, What does each letter stand for?