DON'T POKE THE BEAR: 12 Trash-Talking Mistakes Athletes Make
Trash-talking is an art, and the simple goal is to throw off rival opponents or teammates so that one can gain the upper hand. In your attempts to rattle your rival you may be successful. However, eventually the law of averages plays out and it will backfire.
What went wrong? You stayed up all night rehearsing exactly what to say. You went to bed dreaming of your “flawless” victory, and your rival wobbling with your words…
Instead they decimated you…
Enter the AthleteDISC
How well do you know your rival? The key is understanding what actually makes them tick. You must avoid motivating them and stirring up their strengths. The AthleteDISC behavior profile provides insight on the things you shouldn’t do.
In essence, don’t poke the bear.
Here are 12 Trash-Talking Mistakes that Athletes Make:
“Don’t disturb the DRAGON”
With the AthleteDISC, “D” stands for Dominance and how we approach tasks. Athletes that are high “D” are very competitive, and lie in wait like sleeping dragons. You need to be careful in how you approach them:
1. Do not give them direction
You may believe you are telling a high “D” what they can or cannot do. “You will not out sprint me!” or “You will not gain another yard.” Some people may suggest you are only ruining your own self-talk (because it affects you). In reality, you are basically telling a high “D” exactly how to beat you.
2. Do not “play the player”
With a high “D” don’t be cute, and change things up to try to throw off their game. High “D”’s will welcome this new stimulus because it will get their competitive blood pumping. They live to adapt, and if they see you trying something new, then their “killer” instincts will immediately respond.
3. Do not create a challenge for them
If your rival is a high “D” then they need to be challenged. Every day, every play. If you pose an impossible task (say…scoring 50 points) then they will scratch and claw to achieve it. Don’t underestimate them, because you may become another statistic.
“Don’t irk the IMPALA”
“I” stands for Influence and how we interact with people. Athletes that are high “I” are the team cheerleaders, and enthusiastically follow their herd. Even Mufasa was no match for the Impala stampede:
4. Do not make it fun
In last week’s blog, I wrote about Cam Newton and the Super Bowl. It is a great example of what happens when you take away the high “I” fun factor. Athletes that are high “I” love to compete because it is fun, and they enjoy the success of their teammates. If your rival remembers that competition is fun and they help and see their teammates enjoying themselves, then it is all over for you.
5. Do not rally the troops
High “I” athletes are the master motivators, because they play with their emotions. If you stir up their anger then they are going to stir up the hornet’s nest. They will rise to the occasion by delivering the inspirational speeches you only see in the movies. You are in trouble.
6. Do not attack their family
“Yo mama” jokes or any type of family jokes may initially work with a high “I”. They will initially be distressed by you attacking the people they care about. However, eventually you will joke about someone they really love. Quips about their sick mother probably are not the best idea because they will strive to defend her honor and mop the floor with you.
“Don’t step on the STINGRAY”
“S” stands for Steady and how approach the pace of our tasks. Athletes that are high “S” are patient, calm, and consistent. In reality they are “silent” assassins in the shallow depths:
7. Do not believe they are "soft"
High “S” athletes are very amicable. They seem friendly and they will nod and smile at your presence. You may believe that you have them worried because they do not seem competitive. Stay focused! Remember, they are showing you just enough cards to come over the top later on with that Ace on the River.
8. Do not be lulled to sleep
High “S” athletes are very calm. In fact, they are so calming they will make everyone around them relaxed. Even you. If you are a high “D” or high “I” athlete you must…stay energized… and engaged. Must...not be hypnotized by their calming…*yawn*… demeanor, otherwise they may *yawn*…put you to…sleeeep…zzzzzzzzzzzzz….
9. Do not try to outpace them
Athletes that are high “S” know exactly how much energy they have left. They have considered all variables down to the last second. If you try to pace with them and beat them at their own game, you’ll be sucking wind in the end. They aren’t training to beat you; they are training to beat themselves.
“Don’t challenge the CHIMP”
“C” stands for Conscientious, and how we respond to the rules. Athletes that are high “C” are tactful and analytical chess players. This Caesar is ready to outwit, outplay, outlast…
10. Do not try to be strategic
Athletes that are high “C” are floor generals. If they have space and time to execute their battle plan then they already have the upper hand. If you try to be one step ahead, you will find yourself two steps behind.
11. Do not question their loyalty
High “C” athletes believe in a greater cause and mission. If you question their dedication and hard work, then your failure will become an integral part of that mission. You are only sharpening the edge they have over you.
12. Do not smile
High “C” athletes take this mission seriously. If you do not take your own mission seriously, or you say “It’s just a game” then they own you. You are not as dedicated as they are, and ultimate victory is within their grasp…
Moral of the Story
Be the BEAR
Poking the bear can be very dangerous to your game and your success. Eventually you will meet your match.
Understanding your rival begins with you understanding yourself. Instead of poking the bear, wouldn’t it be better to be the Bear?
You can be the Bear. Right now.
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