Become Your #1 Fan Instead of #1 Critic


Oct 1, 2017

The majority of athletes struggle with being their #1 critic. Today we are going to focus on how you can change your mindset and self-talk to become your #1 fan.


Imagine right now you just played the worst game of your life. Or at least you thought it was the worst game of your life. This is not the most pleasant memory, but it will be beneficial. What did you feel like after the game? What were you thinking about? What did you say to yourself?

I am a failure. I let the team down. I am no good. I shouldn’t even play. I suck.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever said that to yourself after a bad game. It’s human nature and we’ve likely all said similar things. It’s important to understand that what we say to ourselves impacts the way we feel. The way we feel will impact our future behavior, attitude, and performance.

Now imagine if one of your friends or teammates talked to you the way you talk to yourself? Would you be friends with them? Would you want to spend time and hangout with them? Likely not!

It sound cliché but we must learn to become our own best friend. We must learn to become our biggest fan. We must learn how to talk to ourselves in a positive, beneficial, and constructive way.

Now imagine the best game you’ve ever played. A better memory to think about it isn’t it! What did you feel like after the game? What were you thinking about? What did you say to yourself?

I am a winner. I believe in myself. I love this game. I am a valuable member of this team. I love seeing myself improve. I am a great shooter. I am a great defender. I am a great teammate.

Raise your hand if you have ever felt those things after a great game? What if you could develop that mindset after every game regardless of the outcome?

Here’s a starting point. After each practice and each game, you write down 5 things that you did well. You only write down 1 thing you can improve on. The 5:1 Ratio. Every single night before bed review the 5 things you did well. Every single morning when you wake-up review the 5 things you did well. And finally, before every practice and every game review the 5 things you did well.

It takes practice and discipline, but this exercise will train our mind to think differently. It will train our mind to think in a more positive, beneficial, and constructive way. We believe that this season your success and your enjoyment will drastically improve by implementing this simple exercise.

Joshua Medcalf said: “We tend to over-exxagerate the negative. Maybe it’s time we over-exaggerate the positive”.


One disclaimer: You can have the best mindset and self-talk in the world. But if you’re not getting in the gym and putting in work on a daily basis it will be of little value to your performance this season.



Written by Impact Hoops Owner/Head Director Jon Schmidt.

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Part 1: 4 ways for Parents to Create a Positive Youth Sport Environment

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Become Your #1 Fan Instead of #1 Critic

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