Have you ever thought that how we talk during our workout can affect how we move and perform?
An essential part of my work is to be mindful of how I instruct my clients. There can be a fine balance between a good and a bad experience.
Words are extremely powerful tools that we can use to uplift our personal energy, affecting how we perform during training.
Part of my job is to try to improve how people move. I always emphasise to my clients that we are trying to make improvements rather than focus on whether their current movement is bad or wrong.
Here are a few things that can impact how you feel about movement and performance:
Negative versus Positive – Motivation
People will perform better with positive motivation. Even when you think that it is positive, including a negative word can impact how people react.
For example, saying “you can do it!” is so much better than “don’t give up!”.
The person you are trying to motivate may have never thought of giving up and now it might be entering into their head. The word “don’t’‘ is also negative and might demotivate the person you are working with.
Lots of “you are doing well“, “keep going”, “almost there” (when they are almost there, not halfway through), “you’ve got this” and “good work” are much better.
Negative versus Positive – Instruction
An example is what you say during the correction of someone’s movement. If I say ”straighten your elbow” rather than “don’t bend your elbow”, it comes over much better.
It will be very demotivating if you constantly tell someone they are doing things wrong. Emphasising what they need to do works much better.
Talking to yourself in the 3rd person is a self-coaching technique rather than how you would coach someone. You might find you do this anyway. I hear some of my clients do it. For example, during a race, I would say to myself, “come on Lorna you can do this”.
Avoid telling people they have problems in their movement
I have tried to write this paragraph a few times and have failed. Basically, what I want to say is that how a practitioner speaks about how you move can influence how you feel pain and how you will therefore try to avoid specific movements.
I recommend you to read this article as it will be more helpful in getting my point across.
If you are still not sure that you want to work with me, come and try one boot camp class for free to see what you think for yourself. You can see the class times here and get your free session here.
Author: Lorna Wilson
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