The hopeful outlook that positive things can happen and with effort, those positive things can occur.

There are many life skills that a coach can develop in their athletes if they establish a positive, supportive sport culture. Optimism, the hopeful outlook that things can happen, and, with effort, those positive things can occur, is one of those skills. Developing life skills starts with planning and intention. Use the following to help identify and develop optimism in your athletes:

Terms Coaches Can Use with Athletes

  • “Find the positive”
  • “Focus on your last success”
  • “Focus on what you CAN do”
  • “Find the good in now”
  • “Use positive self-talk”

What it Looks Like and Sounds Like with Athletes

  • Imagines or rehearses a different outcome
  • Looks for solutions when faced with challenges
  • Uses positive self-talk and affirming language with others
  • Sees the next opportunity for improvement/success
  • Helps others in finding the positive in difficult situations

Examples with Sport

  • Athlete visualizes or verbalizes performance before game/activity begins
  • Athlete uses positive supportive language with peers who are experiencing difficulty
  • Athlete maintains the same level of intensity in a game/activity despite the potential outcome

**Criteria for Activity Selection
Involves mastering a skill or team competitions.