Multiple Teams · 10 Worst Phrases before a Game!

Winter sports are almost upon us!  With that, it is a great time to remind ourselves and our athletes that time spent on training our mindset is definitely time well spent!  How many times have we heard or said, “It’s 90% mental…”


From “The Winning Mindset” Co-Founders, Gene and Jeff Zannetti:  

All competitions and practices are important, but nothing is “special.” When you make a particular competition “special,” you are most likely to put additional pressure on yourself, which can cause you to change your approach and deviate from the very actions that got you success up until this point in time.

Thus, the top 10 worst phrases for a game are:

10. “I have to…”
9. “I need to…”
8. “I ought to…”
7. “I should…”
6. “I must…”
5. “This is it OR This is everything..”
4. “Do or die”
3. “Make it or break it”
2. “It’s now or never”
1. “Don’t miss “OR “Don’t (anything)”

Instead, use phrases like, “I will,” “I choose to…” “I want to,” “I’m going to.” Approach competition with a willful attitude, not an obligatory one.

Pep talks are Hollywood. Listen to Olympic and professional athletes interviews. They always speak about consistency. In the real world, great athletes stress “being myself,” “doing my own thing,” “Being me.”

In other words, great performers approach their sport with high intensity, confidence, and serenity each practice and each competition. They rarely change their approach, strategy, or mindset physically or mentally before one competition. Neither will you.




Winning Mindset was developed by former nationally ranked, All-Ivy League wrestlers, Gene and Jeff Zannetti to help individuals and teams reach their full potential in sports, school and life.

Co-founder Gene Zannetti graduated with a Psychology degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He has two masters degrees; one in Sport Psychology and the other in Clinical Psychology. Gene is a certified School Psychologist, Personal Trainer and Nutritionist. His masters degree thesis (Perfectionism & Anxiety) has been published in the International Journal of Wrestling Sciences.  Gene was a nationally ranked All-Ivy League wrestler at UPenn.

Co-founder Jeff Zannetti graduated with an Economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania and studied business at the Wharton School of Business. Before starting Winning Mindset he worked in finance at Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Barclays Capital and Merrill Lynch. Jeff was a nationally ranked All-Ivy League wrestler at UPenn.

Gene and Jeff have studied the best athletes, coaches, teams & experts in the world to learn the secrets of performance success. This led to the development of a one of a kind, trademarked Wrestling Mindset program. After growing Wrestling Mindset into the #1 wrestling specific mindset program,  Gene and Jeff expanded their systematic mindset training into all sports, business and weight loss. Winning Mindset coaches have worked with thousands of athletes, teams,  professionals & coaches. This includes the Men’s & Women’s USA Olympic Team, UFC fighters, national champions, state champions as well as youth and rec programs throughout the country.