How to Generate Productive Team Discussion

Getting your team to talk to each other and discuss how to be a more cohesive, successful team can be a challenge.  I recently received an email from a coach who, along with other coaches and some of their athletic administration, is reading “Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams”.  Their goal is to generate meaningful conversation.  In the email she asked me what questions I thought they should ask each other.  There are two ideas I shared with her I wanted to pass along to you.


One – When I share a tip or idea it is common for people to think “I know someone who can use that!”  Instead of jumping to other people who need help, think about how you might apply the idea in your own life.  Being able to understand and apply the idea yourself is the first step to being able to explain it and help others.


Two – Try to come up with real examples where effective communication or conflict resolution didn’t happen and talk about how it might have turned out differently if a specific tip was used.  It is always easier to think about something tangible (that really happened) rather than in the abstract.  Just be careful not to point fingers or cast blame during the discussion process.


If you are using my book to create meaningful conversation on your team, I would love to hear about it.  Email me at [email protected].  And if you have a question you are encouraged to email me as well.


Thank you for watching my video.  I look forward to seeing you again in the future and I wish you the MOST from your potential.

Doc Robyn’s Top Tip for Increasing Mental Toughness

Lately I have been following #MentalToughness on Twitter and have been very disappointed with what I have been seeing.  Athletes and even coaches talking about running until they make themselves sick or getting up in the middle of the night to take an ice bath.  Anything you do physically will not increase your mental toughness.  It may show that you have it, or break you if you don’t but it won’t change it.  Increasing your mental toughness is about changing how your mind works in stressful situations and where your focus is.  When I give presentations on this subject one of the skills I teach is the difference between evaluation and performance.  Evaluation is looking backwards to determine how something went and how it might be improved or repeated.  Performance is about looking forward and actually doing something.  Your brain can only do one at a time.  However, how often have you thought in the middle of a game “that was dumb; I wonder if coach is going to pull me out of the game” or “that was great; I wonder if I can do that again”?  Those are evaluation thoughts.  To perform at your peak you need to being thinking exclusively about what you need to do in the next 10 seconds.

I hope you find that tips on increasing your mental toughness helpful.  If you have a question or a topic you would like me to address, feel free to email me at [email protected], comment below or use the contact us page.  I look forward to seeing you in future videos and I wish you the most from your potential.

Totally a side note – how can it be that in all three thumbnails for this week’s video my eyes were closed?!?!



Jealousy: The Ugly, Green Eyed Monster

Jealousy is something many coaches see on their teams.  However, a lot of emotions are labeled jealousy that aren’t.  When an athlete believes they work just as hard (or harder) and are just as talented (or more talented) than someone else and the other person is given more playing time or the starting spot an athlete will be disappointed or frustrated.  Jealousy occurs when someone thinks they deserve something that they haven’t worked for.  For example, I might be jealous of Bill Gates’ money.  I haven’t put in the investment of time, energy, blood, sweat and tears that he has to earn the money he has.

If you have an athlete who is legitimately jealous, sit down with her and outline what she needs to do to deserve more playing time or that starting spot.  It is extremely important that you are honest about the possibility of her achieving what she wants.  It might be, no matter how hard she tries she won’t get there (I could give 100% to trying to play in the NFL – not going to happen).  Setting appropriate expectations will go a long way to easing jealousy.

I hope you find that tip helpful.  If you have a question you would like me to answer, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected].

Thanks for watching and I wish you the most from your potential!

Know When to Take an Emotional Timeout


Today Doc Robyn finishes up the video series on the Seven No-Fail Secrets to Stop The Drama! with the final secret, Know when to call an emotional timeout and use it.  All too often as a conversation turns into a confrontation and things began a downward spiral it feels like there is nothing we can do about it.  As soon as you realize a conversation is becoming harmful instead of helpful, take a timeout.  Let the other person know you would like to continue talking about the issue but right now you are not in a place to do so productively.  Set a time to have another discussion after you have cooled off.  That might mean in two hours or two days.  Take time to walk around the block and get yourself back to a level headed place.  This will help you not say things you will later regret.


Let me know in the comments if you found that tip helpful.  If you would like to have a copy of all seven secrets you can download them from the bottom of the home page.  If you have a question you’d like me to answer on my video blog, you can send me an email at [email protected].


I look forward to seeing you in future videos and I wish you the most from your potential!

Create Team Vocabulary – No-Fail Secrets Series 6 of 7

Hi! I’m Doc Robyn, founder of the Stop The Drama! Campaign.  Today I am continuing the conversation about the Seven No-Fail Secrets to Stop The Drama!  You can download your copy of all seven secrets from the bottom of the home page.

Today we are talking about the sixth secret “Create and use a team vocabulary”.  The words we use convey only 10% of our meaning.  The other 90% is made up of what the listener infers from the situation and the body language. The word ‘respect’ is one that often means different things to different people.  I worked with a team with an athlete who would yell ‘FOCUS’ during games.  She wasn’t trying to suggest her teammates weren’t focused or to be rude.  She was trying to encourage her teammates to play to their full potential.  Unfortunately, that isn’t what her teammates heard.  Take the time to have a conversation with your team about what specific words mean in specific situations. It will help eliminate misunderstandings and reduce team drama.

I hope you found that tip helpful.  I look forward to seeing you in future videos and I wish you the MOST from your potential.

If you have a question you’d like me to answer, email me at [email protected]


Ask Before Providing Feedback No-Fail Secrets series 5 of 7

Today I am continuing the conversation we have been having about the Seven No-Fail Secrets to Stop The Drama!  Today’s secret is ‘Ask before providing feedback’.  Giving useful feedback is a great way to help a teammate become better.  However, it is not something you should just blindside them with whenever you think of it.  Instead, check in with them to determine if it is a good time.  Saying things like “I’d like to offer you some feedback” or “Can I share a suggesting with you” will give them a split second to prepare themselves.  And if it isn’t a good time, they can let you know when it would be better.   It is also important to think about what is going on around you.  Giving feedback in the locker room or on the field/court with other teammate around can create an embarrassing or defensive situation.  “Constructive criticism” is a private matter meant to help an individual be better.  There is no need to share it with the whole team.


I hope you found that tip helpful.  If you have a question you would like me to answer, email me at [email protected].


I look forward to seeing you in future videos and I wish you the most from your potential.

Assume the Positive – No-Fail Secrets series 4 of 7

Today’s secret is ‘assume the positive’.  It is really easy for us to make up and assume negative things about people.  “She’s out to get me.” “He is stupid.” “My coach doesn’t like me.”  As I often explain when I give keynote talks, most often people aren’t out to get you even if it feels that way.  When we go to talk to someone with a negative assumption they are likely to become defensive pretty quickly.  If we can make up something positive instead, “My coach is trying to make me a better player”, or at least neutral, “I wonder what is going on”, we are more likely to have a conversation than a confrontation.

If you have a question you would like me to answer you can email me at [email protected], use the contact page, send me a tweet @DocRobyn or message me on Facebook.

I look forward to seeing you again in future videos and I wish you the most from your potential

Put Internal Dialogue into Words – No-Fail Secrets series 3 of 7

Your internal dialogue is the running commentary created in your head by the body language and inflection someone is using during a conversation.  Unfortunately, we very rarely share this information with the person we are talking to until we are upset about it.  You might think someone is being rude or mean when that isn’t their intention at all.  When you put your internal dialogue into words it allows the other person to understand where you are in the conversation and to correct course more quickly when a miscommunication is occurring.

Thank you for watching and I wish you the most from your potential.

If you have a question you would like me to answer, you can email me at [email protected]


You are Invited to Doc Robyn’s Talk on Mental Toughness

Topic:   Increasing Your Mental Toughness

When:                                                                             Where:

Saturday November 3, 2012                                           Kendall Park Roller Rink
Presentation From 9:00—10:00 AM                               3550 State Route 27
Doors open at 8:00 AM                                                   Kendall Park, NJ 08824

Nationally known sport psychologist, author and speaker Dr. Robyn Odegaard will give a rare, open to the public, presentation: Increasing Your Mental Toughness.  $10 Per Person – Proceeds to benefit Breakaway Racing.

Download Flyer: Mental Toughness flyer

Questions: Email [email protected]

Breakaway Racing is a world class inline speed skating team open to all interested in the sport of  inline racing.  Please contact Jane Carey at 267-229-8080 for more information

Dr. Robyn Odegaard (aka Doc Robyn) is a nationally known speaker, writer, and consultant.  She has a doctorate in psychology with a concentration in sport and performance from Rutgers University. She is CEO of Champion Performance Development (, an organization that enables her to combine her skills in executive coaching, organizational development, sports psychology, and public speaking to show her clients how they can achieve success in every aspect of their lives.  Doc Robyn founded the Stop The Drama! Campaign, authored the book Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams (, and speaks at high schools and colleges, instilling in students the same skills that bring success to her business clients.  She is a sought after expert in leadership, teamwork, communication and conflict resolution for radio, TV and print.   Doc Robyn recommends the presentation for ages 15+.





WSU & Why I Founded the Stop The Drama! Campaign


Today I am going to answer a question I get asked very often – Why did I found the Stop The Drama! Campaign?  But first I need to say hello to my new friends out at Washington State University.  I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to their women’s basketball, tennis and crew teams recently.  What a great group of people.  On to the question – I was fortunate when I was doing my internship in grad school that I got to work part time doing sport psychology for a university and part time doing organizational development in the corporate world.  I noticed that the same problems were coming up in both places – poor communication, lack of conflict resolution, no leadership and teams that weren’t working well together.  And I was teaching them the same skills – effective communication, productive conflict, how to be a leader others will follow and great teamwork.  When I graduated I wanted to continue doing the same type of work but was unable to find a job that would let me. So I started my company Champion Performance Development ( and founded the Stop The Drama! Campaign because I believe those skills need to be provided to high school and college students, not just corporate executives.  If you have a question you would like me to answer, email me at [email protected].  I look forward to seeing you in future videos and I wish you the most from your potential!