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Jon Gordon: On Positivity And Avoiding Energy Vampires

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Listen in as Positive Coaching Alliance goes 1-on-1 in interviews with top pro and college players, coaches, executives, and other major sports figures and academics who provide tips, tools, information and inspiration for youth and high school sports coaches, parents and student-athletes.

This 1-on-1 interview features Jon Gordon (@JonGordon11), a best-selling author and keynote speaker, known for such titles as The Energy Bus, The No Complaining Rule, and Soup. His latest book is The Carpenter and his next book is a collaboration with former Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith. He played lacrosse for Cornell University and brings his athletic experience to his insights on coaching, team-building and parenting.

Jim Thompson (@JimThompson18), PCA Founder, talks to Gordon on such topics as the relative role of heart and head in coaching and team-building and how players sense their coach's caring. "If your team knows you love and care about them, they will let you push them."

Although positivity infuses all of Gordon's work, he says, "I’m not naturally positive. I have to work really hard at it." His talk of parenting here acknowledges he had to overcome his conditioning toward earning praise as an athlete in order to provide his own children with unconditional love.

Other gems include a metaphorical discussion of the "root and the fruit of the tree." Applied to coaching, that is a reminder not to focus overly on results (the fruit) at the expense of developing players and people (the "root" of the "tree" that eventually produces "fruit"). Gordon and Thompson also touch on the "energy vampires" concept from Gordon's books, the power of prayer and everyone from Billy Donovan to Mother Teresa.

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