September 30, 2010
The Power of Positive Psychology by Ken Long
Coaches must be concerned with the development of their players both on the field and off the field. In order to build strong young girls who can stand on their own 2 feet in life, we can leverage the insights from the field of positive psychology and specifically appreciative intelligence. Appreciative intelligence in girls youth soccer can help you build the emotional strength in young girls that they need to compete on the soccer field, in school and in life.
Appreciative intelligence simply means that we choose to focus on the positive elements of our most successful experiences as individuals and members of the team. By focusing on these areas we set the tone and shape the agenda for the emotional development of our players. By emphasizing the positive we ensure that we don't backslide into thoughts of negativity and regret.
Appreciative intelligence has a long history of success in many different areas of business, government and education and is a proven technique for getting the most out of your people and your teams. It began with studies of the emotional reselling its emotional intelligence found in high performing entrepreneurial enterprises and business startups and has broadened into a wider appreciation of positive psychology.
Try this technique after your next game and see if it doesn't work wonders on your teams attitude, whether they won or lost. Gather your players in a circle and ask each one of them to think about their favorite memory on a positive note about one of your other players. By doing so, each person is emphasizing the positive and each person gets to hear their friends and teammates praising them for something that they did that was worthy of recognition.
I've tried this dozens of times after games and we invariably finish the experience on such a high note that it carries us through the rest of the week and into the next game. This positive result occurs whether we won or lost. We all leave the field with a very positive feeling and of thankfulness for the quality of the members of our team who we support and to support us in good times and bad.
Give it a try and see if appreciative intelligence will work for you in the same way.
Check back next week for another great Coaching article.