Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Part 7a - Listen to your language

A way of identifying if you are a proactive or reactive person, listen to yourself speak. A reactive person may say something like this, after leaving their backpack coat, shoes and socks in the middle of the living room, laying on the couch watching MTV2.

"What mess? That's just the way I am." They may agree it is not the best place to leave their stuff, but they are also saying I am not responsible for the way I act.

"If my teacher wasn't being so unreasonable, life would be much easier." Again, not taking responsibility, blaming their teacher for all their difficulties.

"Boy, thanks alot, you just ruined my day. I wish we would have never moved here. I wish I had money to live in my own apartment." Here are examples where moods, things, circumstances control their happiness. They are saying in so many words, I am not in control of my own happiness; contentment is based on circumstances and things.

The reactive language takes the power away from you and places it in other things or situations. A illustration of a remote controller was used in the training. It is like your life is being controlled by a giant remote. When someone pushes the right buttons, your mood or attitude changes based on the signal. Proactive language put the remote control back into your hands. You are then can choice freely what channel you want to be on.


  • I'll try

  • That's just the way I am

  • There's nothing I can do

  • I have to

  • I can't

  • You ruined my day

A reactive person give the perception that they are victims. The training calls this "victimitis virus." Everyone is out to get them and make their lives miserable. It can be contagious when incontact with a crowd. Comments like:

  • "I am not getting good grades, the teacher does not like me."

  • "If the coach know anything about hoops, I would be playing right now."

  • "The ball keeps slipping out of my hands, it's not my fault I have 5 turnovers."

  • "I could have made that lay up , but my shoes slipped and made me miss."

The only person that is holding theis kind of person back is themselves. You may hear whining, blaming others, get angry, only change when they have to change and excuses.


  • I'll do it

  • I can do better than that

  • Let's look at all our options

  • I choose to

  • There's gotta be a way

  • I'm not goin gto let your bad mood rub off on me

Proactive people have taken the time to think about situations they may face and decide, beforehand to respond a certain way. They take time to consider various options when confronted with a situation. Proactive people:

  • Are not easily offended

  • Take responsibility for their choices

  • Think before they act

  • Bounce back when something bad happenes

  • Always find a way to make it happen

  • Focus on what they can do and do not worry about the things they do not have control over

I have been coaching for many years. I hear the comments from players and can quickly determine which one may have a tendancy to be reactive and those who are proactive. It says alot about a player when they touch the line every time during the conditioning drill; if they do not touch half court during the warm up drill; if they complement a team mate on a good pass or if they never communicate; if they look me in the eyes while they speak to me; if their body language is saying, "Coach, I do not want to come out of the game"; or during a timeout they are looking into the stand and not listening to anything I am saying.

We cannot control everything that happens to us. But there is one thing we can control, that is how we respond to what happens to us. If we choose to be proactive, we will be in control of our lives.

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