This system of cues originated from Dr. Ken Ravizza. Known to some as The Godfather of the metal game of baseball. The acronym B.F.S. - Body Language, Focus & Self-Talk is a failure recovery system or mistake ritual if you will. Something to go to, to get your mind back to the present and where it needs to be to be your best. On the next play. The here and now.
Teaching this simple acronym to your players, allows to utilize it as a trigger word to help your athletes rebound from mistakes and build resilience. Yes, coaches, we need to build resilience in our student-athletes. They are not going to show up full of it freshman year. Here's more on BFS to help your athletes and ourselves bounce back.
The first message our body language sends is to ourself, then to those around us for interpretation.
We've all seen the iconic slump of disappoint we often strike in moments of defeat. That's exactly what they are, just moments. We can all move past a moment.
Changing our body language helps us mentally shift to the next moment. This is why a physical gesture is key to bring us back to our best. After the athlete resumes better body language, I encourage a second quick B, take a BREATH. A quick in and out allows our mind to become more present, gaining control.
After a deep breath we've got a re-newed focus. Our athlete is hopefully no longer looking down, but up at the people who care; our coaches and teammates.
As a coach, here is where we confirm our belief in the athlete, or remind them of already preparing for the moment they are in during training. If we've achieved the adjustment in body posture and a breath, you've shifted the focus already. Use that momentum into internal positivity.
While positive self-talk is not 100% effective, negative self-talk is. Teaching athletes to combat the negative voice that circulates in all of us with positive self-talk, affirmation and belief is one of the most powerful things we can do for our young athletes today.
Research has estimated that we say four thousand words a day in our internal thoughts; never sharing those words with the world. Helping athletes shift quicker to positive thoughts builds a balance of confidence for the future. Get them to say something nice to themselves and get back out there and compete!