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Phil Jackson On The Magic Ratio

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Positive Coaching Alliance’s National Spokesperson, Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11), is perhaps the greatest basketball coach ever and among the best coaches in the history of American sports. He holds the NBA record of coaching 11 NBA Championship teams with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. Now a New York Knicks executive, Jackson contributes to PCA’s mission through fundraising activities and event and video appearances. He also wrote the foreword to PCA Founder Jim Thompson's (@JimThompson18) book, The Double-Goal Coach®.

In this video clip, Jackson talks about the best ratio of specific, truthful positive praise to specific, constructive criticism that coaches should use with their players. Jackson has learned through PCA that the ideal ratio is 5:1 (five positives to each correction), though he admits that his ratio with his players was closer to 3:1.

He laments that even with this ratio, players often hear only the corrections and can become frustrated or angry at themselves and their coaches. It is a constant battle for coaches to stay positive and find new ways to get their players to hear and accept the positives so that they stay open to the occasional need for correction.