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Rick Davis On The Importance Of A Mistake Ritual

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Rick Davis, a PCA National Advisory Board Member, is a retired professional soccer player and former member of the U.S. National Team. He played with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League, and was named Player of the Year in 1979. Davis was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2001 and served as Executive Director of AYSO.

As a former professional player, and long-time youth sports coach, Davis has seen his fair share of mistakes in sports. Here, Davis talks about simple tricks that can help players quickly get over their mistakes and help them focus on the most important play – the next play. With his own children, Davis encourages the Flush ritual, which involves making a flushing motion in the air and internally recognizing that the mistake is gone and it’s time to get over it.

For younger kids, Davis recommends the peek-a-boo method that might get picked up more naturally. This method lets children move on from a mistake, while having some fun with a hand motion. It also helped him as a parent on the sidelines understand that his young children were moving past whatever mistake they had just made.