False Praise – A Slippery Slope


“Good job” or “Well Done” you go to any gym, practice field, pool or court around the world and that is what you hear. I look at the action that was praised and say why? Was it really a good job? Was it really well done? No it wasn’t, then why do we praise mediocre effort and outcomes? I think I know- it is because somewhere along the way we were told we needed to be positive, to raise self-esteem. This is total bull shitake. Be honest; if it was a poor effort point it out. You don’t have to attack the person that is not what it is about, it is the effort the person is giving. Praise and reward the effort conversely criticize the effort not the person. The athlete knows it is BS and phony, they begin to tune you out when you are constantly giving false praise. If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything! Be real, you can help the athlete get better if you correct what needs to be corrected with a recommendation of something they can do to improve. That is how you raise self-esteem. You guide them toward their goal, praise exemplary effort and the outcome will follow.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
RT @GreatestQuotes: Your aspirations are your possibilities. - Samuel Johnson - 4 years ago
Vern Gambetta

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