As coaches, we’re either filling or draining our kids’ Emotional Tanks.

  • Each thing you do or say to fill your swimmers’ Emotional Tanks is a positive.
  • Each thing you do or say to drain their Emotional Tanks is a negative.

What Drains the Tank?
  • Criticism
  • Sarcasm
  • Ignoring
  • Nonverbal actions (shaking your head, frowning, turning away)

What Fills the Tank?

  • Praise (truthful and specific)
  • Appreciation for the good things they do (being on time, being a helpful teammate)
  • Listening
  • Nonverbal actions (nodding, clapping, smiling, high fives)

Of course, sometimes we need to correct our swimmers. It’s part of the job. So,what’s the best ratio of positives to negatives?

More than 25 years of research indisputably concludes that we need an abundance of tank fillers compared to tank drainers.

PCA and SLS suggest 5:1 as a target ratio for coaches.

Target Ratio 5:1

A full Emotional Tank can help kids be more optimistic and coachable and deal better with adversity. There are several strategies you can use to fill your swimmers’ Emotional Tanks. 5:1 is the Magic Ratio of tank fillers to criticisms. When you do have to make corrections, do it in a way that’s receivable and least likely to drain their Emotional Tanks.