I work with a lot of young athletes in many settings. Motivationally, I stress the identification of them being “athletes”. I phrase statements and cues with “You are an athlete, you must connect your mind and body. We are driving the arms and legs when we run. Move your arms and legs powerfully and front to back. No wasted motion.”, for example in sprint work. I refer to them as “athletes” as in “Listen up athletes”. I avoid trying to shame or use negative talk like calling young men “lboys” or young women “girls”. I will say “gentlemen” to the young men and “ladies” to the young women, as in “Can I have your attention gentlemen/ladies.” We do a lot of focus and mental attitude work. The difference between effort with and without control is important. Reading body language is very important for instructors to know when to push and when to ease up. Everyone gets positive feedback. Corrections are made with the intention being to maintain focus and to get the athletes to ask questions until they feel they understand. I tell every athlete that I need them to be a part of the process. They are empowered to make me provide them with clear information. I do not want them to guess what I am trying to communicate. We work together. We are team mates, part of a group that has chosen to be “athletes”. And lastly, I stress that “athletes” compete to gauge their own progress. Their true competition is with themselves. Respecting themselves and others, congratulate all competitors and never taunt or trash talk. After all an athlete and a person should be about respect and sportsmanship.