Trash talking seems like it’s just part of the sports culture. We trash talk the opposing team and sometimes even our teammates. Negative speech, which includes trash talking, harsh tones, embarrassing others and unjustified criticism, can have a damaging effect on the team dynamic. How can we as a team incorporate more positive speech into each practice, game and team interaction?
- What kinds of speech from team leaders have you found most helpful to you?
- What sort of speech do you see as harmful to your team and to your individual performance?
- Which people usually engage in negative speech? (fans, wannabes, other players, sports reporters, etc.)
Let’s review some Proverbs related to speech and see how they might shape how we speak as team leaders.
- Read Proverbs 15:1: “A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.”
- How can using a calm tone when talking to our teammates and coaches diffuse a tense situation or discussion?
- Read Proverbs 12:18: “There is one who speaks rashly, like a piercing sword; but the tongue of the wise [brings] healing.”
- What does it mean to speak rashly, and how can it hurt relationships within the team?
- How can positive speech and encouraging words bring healing to our team?
- What will you take from this discussion to shape your speech among your teammates?
Let’s get rid of the negative speech and start holding each other accountable when trash talking starts to happen. Let’s also commit to encouraging at least one other teammate during each practice and game.
Memory verse: “When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19