If you are going to change a person’s behavior and their performance, the first thing you have to do is change the way they think.

We’ve got to inspire them, we’ve got to enhance their vision of themselves, we’ve got to get them to reach for higher levels of achievement.

I think we’ve got to continue to fuel their lives with positive reinforcement

“For every negative statement, you’ve got to reinforce that with 10 positive statements.”

I tested it as a coach.

“Young people remember what you say and they tend to remember the negative more than they do the positive.”

One time I had a teacher, admonishing me and I know it was an emotional response, but she said she didn’t think I’d ever be anything.

When I was graduating from high school the first invitation I sent out was to her to let her know that I was someone and so even that negative comment inspired me to prove to her that I could be somebody.

Over the years, I’ve looked back on people that I’ve worked with or coached or worked alongside and the more I encouraged them, the more I spoke in positive terms, the better they perform.

I think what you want to do is create an [optimistic] mindset.

If someone says to me, “Coach how are you doing?”

I have two pat responses.

I either say, “I’m doing sensational,” or “If I were doing any better it would be illegal.”

You say that enough and it becomes part of your persona, who you are.

“I get up in the morning and I say to myself, “You’ve got two choices George, you can either be happy or you can be very happy.”

I believe we have a much greater control over our lives than we [think we] do.

The problem is that most of us allow people exterior of us to create the environment and make the rules for how we live and then tell us who we should be.

“I have a saying that the hardest fight a person has to fight is to live in a world where every single day someone’s trying to make them be somebody that they don’t want to be.”

I think that we’re in a constant battle to be uncommon. We’re in a constant battle to be who we want to be. We have to get to a point where other people’s validation of us is irrelevant.

The most relevant thing as I see it from validation is my self-image of myself.

When I look in the mirror, do I like the person in the mirror. Do I root for the person in the mirror? Am I trying to take that person I see in the mirror and make them the best possible person that they can be?

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George Raveling is Nike's Global Basketball Sports Marketing Director. He is a former college men's basketball player, coach and FOX Sports Net color commentator. He played collegiate basketball for Villanova University.