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The Importance of Keeping Emotional Tanks Full

Brought to you by the Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports program


Emotional TanksA young athlete’s Emotional Tank™ is a bit like a car’s gas tank. When it’s full, he or she can go anywhere they want in youth sports!  Players with full Emotional Tanks are:

  1. More coachable
  2. More optimistic
  3. Better able to handle adversity


Sound like the kind of players you’d want on your side?

Parents and coaches sometimes refer to filling Emotional Tanks as “happy talk.”  But remember, the praises must be truthful and specific. 

See an example of truthful and specific praise >>>

After all, children are uncanny in detecting false praise. 

But what if you need to correct your child?  Strike the right balance between specific, truthful praise and specific, constructive criticism.  Try what we here at Responsible Sports call the Magic Ratio™ of 5:1, meaning five praises to one criticism.  This doesn’t mean that you must utter five praises immediately before correcting a player!

Parents, learn more about The Magic Ratio here >>>

Coaches, learn more about The Magic Ratio here >>>

Parents, remember that coaches have Emotional Tanks too.  Coaches, try to encourage your athletes to fill their teammates’ Emotional Tanks.  Everybody should be equally involved with keeping Emotional Tanks full, but it starts with Responsible Sport Parents and Coaches!

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility shown by people every day. We created Responsible Sports as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display responsibility. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the field. Join the Responsible Sports movement!

In an effort to benefit millions of youth athletes, parents and coaches, this article is among a series created exclusively for partners in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports program.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.


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