POSITIVITY – is a wide range of positive emotions – not just being happy. It’s an optimistic attitude that triggers positive emotions, open minds, and relaxed limbs. Like negativity, it has a long-term impact on your character, relationships, communities, environment, and personal trajectory – and it shapes our souls. Positivity comes from your mind.

How do we coach it? By helping them realize that it’s a choice and a tough mental practice. They will begin to recognize how a positive mindset makes people stronger and more effective.

Session #5 POSITIVITY 8/1-8/27 Group Sessions of ~12 people CLICK HERE to Signup for Session

Pre-Session Preparation

  1. Watch this video: Getting stuck in the negatives (and how to get unstuck) | Alison Ledgerwood | TEDxUCDavis 6/22/13 9:59

  2. Be prepared to share a related personal story

  3. Read through the Quotes & Short Stories and other Positivity resources below

  4. Print session materials and bring to session: Session #5 POSITIVITY Session Materials

Other POSITIVITY Resources


  1. Getting stuck in the negatives (and how to get unstuck) 9:59 mins We fundamentally lean toward the negative, but we CAN retrain our minds if we work at it. And it can be hard.

  2. So you're saying there's a chance 00:54 secs Humorous with a good point.

  3. The skill of self confidence | Dr. Ivan Joseph | 13:30 mins Repetition, repetition, repetition to build the skill of self-confidence. Practice! Positive self-talk.

  4. Trust your struggle | Zain Asher | 14:38 mins “Success is really never a straight line...there are always bumps along the way.”

  5. The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong | Amy Morin | 15:01 mins Giving up bad mental habits and unhealthy beliefs is hard but necessary.

  6. Positivity: The Power of Choice | Samantha Rea | 9:29 mins “A positive attitude can be a driving force for change...Focusing on the good things, rather than the not-so-good thing.”

  7. Do What You Like, Like What You Do: Bert Jacobs 13:26 mins “Focusing on what’s right with our lives rather than what’s wrong with our lives is the best way to fix what’s wrong with our lives.”

QUOTES - Choose a quote or short story from below that resonates with you. Be prepared to share in the group and why you chose that quote.

  1. Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  2. Most people are as happy as they make their minds up to be. - Abraham Lincoln

  3. ‘I am the greatest’ - I said that even before I was. - Muhammad Ali

  4. Believe you can, and you’re half way there. - Theodore Roosevelt

  5. You cannot hang out with negative people and expect to have a positive life. - Unknown

  6. Tell yourself you can’t do something, and your subconscious mind will find a way for you not to do it. - Jim Tressel


  1. When asked what he thought about after striking out, Babe Ruth replied: I think about hitting home runs.

  2. Youngsters are told, ‘Think big - anything is possible’ I would never go that strong. I want them to think positively. You may dream of being seven feet tall - hoping for something of that nature is not productive. We should keep our dreams within the realms of possibility - and make every effort to achieve them. - John Wooden

  3. About Hall of Fame baseball manager Casey Stengel: He might be temporarily upset about losing a tough one, but his tremendous love of baseball and people always brought him back to an even keel. He thinks of tomorrow’s chance, not yesterday’s loss. - Edna Stengel

  4. One evening and old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is ‘Evil’. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is ‘Good’. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

  5. The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”

  6. The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” - Anonymous


8/1-8/27 Group Sessions of ~12 people CLICK HERE to Signup for Session
Session #5 Printable POSITIVITY Session Materials

Purpose of the Session: Understanding the meaning of POSITIVITY and the impact it has on success.

AGENDA (~1-2 hours)

I. Welcome from the Host (include description of host company) (~5 minutes)

II. Check-in (each individual with the whole group) (~10 minutes)

  1. Introduce yourself: State your Name, School/Company, Sport.

  2. State your mindset coming into the meeting (share something about your day, or recent happenings in your life).

  3. Prepare to be in this moment, engaging and listening to others.

III. Quick Review of Handshake America’s Five Practices of Success (~5 minutes)

IV. Personal Story Teller (e.g. Coach, Host, or Guest Speaker) (~15 minutes)

  1. Share their background: Who are they, where are they from, what do they do, etc.

  2. Share a personal story or two of pivotal times in their life, personally or professionally.

  3. Share adversity faced on their pathway to success and how they overcame it. Share what kept them going.

V. Discussion Answer question #1 and choose a few other questions to discuss from the list below. (~20 minutes)

  1. What questions do you have for the speaker? Is there something in his/her story you could relate to? Which of the The Five Practices did you ‘hear’ in the the speaker’s story? Describe.

  2. How would you summarize the message from the assigned video, Getting stuck in the negatives (and how to get unstuck)? If you reviewed any of the other videos or stories, what are your takeaways?

  3. What are the traits of positive and negative people? What is the impact on your feelings, thoughts, energy?

  4. Why do you think positive people are positive and negative people are negative? What’s the source?

  5. Do you have a choice in your reaction to someone or a situation? Can you choose to be positive?

  6. Share an experience (or story) that you have that illustrates POSITIVITY?

  7. How do you describe this POSITIVITY in your own words? What is similar about the responses with your teammates?

  8. How does being a student-athlete teach you POSITIVITY?

  9. Why is POSITIVITY important for success in sports, career, and in life?

  10. How can you develop and/or discover your POSITIVITY?

VI. Activity Learning from the experiences of others (~ 20 minutes)

VII. Quotes (~ 15 minutes)

  1. Take 5 minutes by yourself to review the Quotes from above in the Other POSITIVITY Resources section.

  2. Privately write your favorite quote down on a piece of paper and give to the facilitator who will gather everyone’s favorite quote.

  3. Once all favorites are turned in, share the quote you chose with the team and why you chose it.

  4. Did everyone chose the same quote or different quotes?

VIII. Announcements (~5 minutes)

  1. Announce any key accomplishments that have recently occurred amongst anyone present.

  2. The 2020 application process will open in September for all current junior student-athletes. Please invite at least three junior student-athletes to apply for the Handshake America Coaching & Scholarship Program at www.handshakeamerica.org. You know the ones...the ones with GRIT & COACHABILITY just like you!

  3. Additional Special Scholarship opportunities will be available toward the end of the year. There may be one specifically for POSITIVITY. Be thinking about your practice of POSITIVITY and how it impacts success in you and others.

  4. Other Handshake America announcements (from President or Handshake America office). -

    THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ATTENDED THE HANDSHAKE AMERICA CELEBRATION on June 20th! Based on the success we plan to host another event next year around the same time. YOU will be invited. It’s a great time to network, build relationships, along with being a fun night out.

IV. Check-out (either in pairs or with the whole group) (~10 minutes)

  1. What’s one thing you took away from this session?

  2. Do you have room to improve your POSITIVITY?

  3. How could you apply what you’ve learned into your daily life in order to practice your POSITIVITY?