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The Need For A Mistake Ritual

The Need For A Mistake Ritual

Tina Syer (@tinaPCA) is the Chief Impact Officer at Positive Coaching Alliance. Syer played Division I field hockey at Stanford University, where she graduated with honors and was named an Academic All-America. Her coaching experience includes seasons at the high school, college and Olympic Development levels.

Here, Syer writes about the need for a mistake ritual, a non-verbal motion that coaches can use to help players move on from mistakes. In this resource, she recounts her own experience as a coach and the incredible difference this non-verbal communication made for her players.

When a player makes a mistake on the field the first glance is often to the coach or parents. What does the player see from these adults? More often than not, the non-verbal reaction from adults is negative, whether coaches realize it or not. In this resource, Syer suggests the need for a positive tool or ritual to replace the negative reaction.

This tool, called 'The Flush,' is a non-verbal action that involves making a fist with one hand, putting your fist in the air, and bending your elbow to bring your fist down. With this flushing motion, the mistake is flushed away, and players can now focus on moving forward.

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