I have noted previously the headline on this post is part of a solid foundation for a successful marriage/relationship, at least in my experience.
In that spirit I come to you this day applying said positive reinforcement/corrective action technique for the sports world. Let’s start with this example…
The Philadelphia Flyers
Positive – You cannot possibly play any, any worse than you did in Game 1 of your current series with Boston. You can only improve from here on!!!
Negative – Same axiom applies for goalies as with quarterbacks…when you have a competition you don’t have any. Pick one of your three goalies. We’re all getting dizzy…and come to think of it pulling them from games over and over again is why the goalies are horrid…they’re dizzy too.
Positive – Last year when you played the Bruins in the Playoffs you were poor enough to spot them a three game lead in the series…and still beat them. You can actually fail to fight for Games 2 and 3 also based on very recent history!!!
See, that’s how this works. Criticize and recommend corrective action by picking one goalie…but compliment the Flyers at the same time for being so bad they can’t possibly do worse the rest of the series and point out they can tank three games and still win a series. This is positive/critical/positive at its finest. Let’s try another one…
The Minnesota Vikings
Positive – You could not have reached any higher for the sky with you selection of QB Christian Ponder from Florida State with the 12th pick in the entire NFL Draft. You are a gusher gone wild with optimism and truly touching Heaven itself!!!
Negative – With your recent history of hiring Joe Webb and Tavaris Jackson for the quarterback position you most likely set the franchise back again several more seasons at the signal caller slot.
Positive – You know when Brett Favre gets off his John Deere and is filled in on whom you picked as the answer to your issues at QB, there is no doubt at all he’ll be in touch…in August. And, what a season he gave you a year ago!!!
Once again this sound, proven theory in practice. We praise Minnesota for being so gosh darn positive about things and assuring them they have a familiar player-in-waiting who will want to help them out, while noting we believe their organization is functionally illiterate when it comes to studying up on how to pick their own top-notch quarterback. How about one more today…
The Oklahoma City Thunder
Positive – Even though you let the #8 seed Memphis come into your own building and completely school you in Game 1 of your current series, you still have a chance to move onto the next round because it is a best-of-seven. You haven’t lost a thing yet…except for of course your hard-earned home-court advantage!!!
Negative – If you don’t rip the ball from Russell Westbrook’s mitts and give it to Kevin Durant, you will only have three games remaining in this series. Westbrook’s accuracy is that of a weather person right now. Not sure if he could put a towel in the locker room hamper at this time even while hovering over it.
Positive – Memphis has never been in this pressure situation before and will likely be very nervous and erratic…even though in Game 1 they looked like they’ve done this a hundred times before and just got done taking out the #1 seed Spurs the same way. The Grizzlies are sure to be shook up playing at home in front of their newly rabid fan base!!!
So there you go. Three examples of how you get your request for fixing something…one layer of critique between two layers of praise.
Positive reinforcement is so important when being critical.