So what is positive affirmation?  An oath taken by atheists?  Some religious ceremony?  Probably.  But in this context it is intend to be an on-going, positive, controllable method of enhancing team spirit and individual confidence from all parties involved. 

When Henry V led his troops into battle with the “we few, we happy few, we band of brothers” speech, was this done in isolation?  No, in fact this speech came some while after the “stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood” discourse.  Positive affirmation. 

There can be parallels drawn to sport here.  If we rely on the two minute “let’s smash ‘em boys” monologue prior to kick off does that really motivate?  Or does it become like the wallpaper in your living room – unseen and unheard?  Surely a quiet word at training emphasising a good technique in an exercise is worthwhile.  Or a positive slice of encouragement after a tackle has been missed or a high kick dropped. Or a constructive reference pre-match to a previous plus point.  Is that not more favourable than being berated from twenty metres away? 

Quite often criticism towards another is made in order to mask shortfalls within the individual’s repertoire.  Believing in yourself is essential – the power of one. But if one receives positive affirmation from another does that not make things less stressful?  Is it so hard to remain focused on a positive outcome for yourself and others around you?  The power of one plus one is certainly stronger than the power of one in isolation. 

Would Henry V have motivated his men with “ok, lads they look big but we are quicker and don’t worry anyway ‘cos tomorrow is ‘all you can eat’ Saint Crispin’s Day”?  No. Positive affirmation takes time and effort.  It takes repetition, sincerity and honesty.  Even fault correction can be undertaken with a positive slant and if delivered with a degree of sensitivity, the outcome ought to be worthwhile. 

When you are tired, two tries down, soaking wet and cold, that is the time to take the effort to remain positive.  Both with yourself and those surrounding you. 

After all can you affect what has passed?  Or what is to come?

One final quote from Henry V “All things are ready, if our minds be so”