KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Most athletes know the power of positive thinking, that is, envisioning success before events and approaching shots, swings, etc., with a confident mentality.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones takes it one step further, suggesting people (and players) need to hold on to the most positive event of each day, and think about that in bed before going to sleep to maintain a positive attitude.
Jones’ lesson in psychology on Monday might explain how he’s been able to improve his win total from season to season at each of the schools he has been at over the course of his 10 years as a head coach.
“Everything in life is about having a positive outlook and a positive mentality,”Jones said on Monday at the Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Studio. “When you let negativity creep into your mindset, nothing good is ever going to come of it. It sets your temperament, it sets your mood, everything that goes into it.
“If you always pick your greatest success that you have for that day, and you build upon that success … it may be a conversation with a coach or a professor or peer.”
Jones referred to the “One Great Golf Shot Theory,” which according to a Google search is referenced in the book: “The Energy Bus, 10 Rules to Fuel your Life, Work and Team with Positive Energy.”
Jones recapped what he knew of that positive psychological approach.
“When everybody starts to play golf, they aren’t very good at it, and people want to be good at the things they do,” he said. “But when you think about golf and you go to bed at night, and you think about your previous game, what do you think about? You think about that one great golf shot. You think about how the club felt in your hand, and when you do that, that gives you energy and excitement to go on and play another round of golf, and another round of golf.”
Jones joked that when he plays, he doesn’t have that great shot to think about.
But he said he did share the theory with his team.
“I tell our players all the time, think about your most positive experience you’ve had for the day,” he said, “and go to bed on it, and that’s going to motivate you to go to class, and go to work and go to football each and every day.”