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The Magic Ratio

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Watch youth sport coaches from around the country put the principles from Play Positive and Positive Coaching Alliance to work with their athletes.

Research shows that youth athletes learn more when their emotional state helps them take in information. Coaches should give athletes enough positive feedback to keep them attuned and receptive to the necessary corrective feedback so that they can improve.

Positive Coaching Alliance recommends the 5:1 ratio of specific truthful praise to constructive criticism or correction. This often sounds daunting to coaches who rely on pointing out changes more often than positively reinforcing behaviors, but this has worked for countless coaches at every level. Here you can see a youth soccer coach putting the Magic Ration of 5:1 into action, and you can adopt some of her strategies for your own athletes.

This video features PCA Trainer Molly Hellerman. A former professional soccer player, Hellerman has coached at the collegiate, youth and club levels across the country and is currently a consultant in the non-profit sector with a specific focus on leadership, strategy and business plans in the youth, sport and education sectors. She continues to play soccer for the Olympic Club's soccer team and sits on their foundation's committee.

Positive Coaching Alliance is proud to have worked with Liberty Mutual Insurance to create this video and other powerful resources.