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Negative Judgement: The Killer of Motivation

March 15, 20241 min read

As leaders, managers, parents, or sports coaches, our intentions are often geared towards nurturing success and unlocking potential. However, motivating others isn't always straightforward, especially when negative judgment comes into play.

In our coaching experiences at, we've observed that feedback, when delivered in a judgmental manner, can have unintended consequences. Communication comprises not just words but also body language and tone, with words accounting for only 7% of the message.

Negative judgmental feedback breeds feelings of anxiety, stress, and self-doubt, hampering motivation and fostering a negative internal dialogue. This is particularly impactful for teens, shaping their self-perception and attitudes towards themselves and others.

The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. - Peggy O'Mara

Fortunately, there's a better approach:

  1. Focus on the Positive: Emphasize strengths and accomplishments. Positive feedback encourages a shift towards a more positive mindset.

  2. Encourage Incremental Change: Support small, gradual improvements rather than expecting perfection overnight. This approach prevents overwhelm and sustains motivation.

  3. Provide Feed Forward: Instead of dwelling on past mistakes, focus on actionable steps for the future. Encourage learning from experiences and moving forward constructively.

Bonus Tip: Shift from Judgment to Blameless Discernment. Discernment involves making conscious, constructive choices, fostering ownership, problem-solving skills, and confidence in one's abilities.

Success is fostered through collaboration, tapping into individuals' insights and fostering resilience. With a mindset geared towards growth and development, remarkable results are achievable.

Unlock the full potential of teen athletes and individuals alike with's empowering coaching approach. Let's cultivate mental toughness and drive towards success together!

teen coachingteen athletesself judgementself empowermentcoaching teen athletesnegative judgementteen athlete judgementteen athleetteen judgementteen bullying
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Shannon Peck

Shannon Peck has over 15 years of experience in the fields of psychology and executive coaching, she brings a unique approach to acquiring Mindset techniques in a fun and positive atmosphere that combines evidence-based practices with an athlete centered approach. She holds a Master's degree in Psychology and is a certified Sport Psychology Coach with experience coaching Athletes, Coaches Parents, and Youth Sport Leaders in building great sports' cultures. She was an accomplished competitive skater in her youth and has coached competitive skaters for over 25 years. She toured as a principal skater with Ice Capades, Disney on Ice, Sea World Rhythms on Ice, Holiday on Ice and American Super Dream in Japan.

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"I used to get really frustrated with myself on bad skating days, especially when I came into the rink already upset or sad. I would often leave more frustrated than when I came in. Coach Shannon taught us about our emotional tank and how our state of mind can impact our performance, which has made a huge impact on my improvement. When I became aware of my emotional tank, I was able to adjust my expectations and what I was practicing that day, which allowed me to make progress on the harder days. In general, it helped me have a better attitude toward skating and enjoy it much more. Now, I’ve applied this to different aspects of my life, including school and it has really helped! "

Tiffany - Synchronized and Singles Figure skater

"One of the most powerful things that I took away from my coaching with Shannon was the use of Imagery, how I can use it to prepare for challenging situations. When I practice with Imagery ahead of time, I realize that I have been there before and I’ve planned for this situation. As a result, I feel more in control and confident of my abilities. I now use Imagery to
prepare for challenging situations as a way to regulate my emotions and get me in a good mindset, it’s great to feel prepared.

The other thing that has really helped was being aware of my activation level. Before, I won’t lie, I was unaware of it, and now that I know where I want to be (excitement level as I start a game), I feel better, like I am in more control of how I am showing up. "

Ava - High School Softball player

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