The Power of Language in Sports and Beyond: A conversation with Coach Reed Maltbie

Reed Maltbie is a public speaker and motivator. More than anything else, he is a coach who has made it his life’s work to help create the best environments for athletes to achieve peak performance – on and off the field. 

‘Coach Reed’ has set up training programs within various highly successful sporting organisations, including the Gaelic Games Association, US Sailing, USA Swimming, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and the Pro Golf Association of Canada. He is a former athlete and later earned master’s degrees in sports psychology and early childhood development. 

He speaks candidly through a lifetime of personal reflection and thirty years of professional coaching experience. His book, ‘The Spartan Mindset’, due out in April 2023, focuses significantly on the impact of language on performance. It is a must-read for anyone who strives to be a more effective and supportive communicator in the sporting world and beyond. 


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02:07 Reed’s background and how he got into coaching

04:50 Coaching from a young age

07:00 Bringing sports psychology to his coaching philosophy

08:22 Key lessons from sports that can be applied to the workplace

12:20 Developments since Reed’s TedX talk on the lasting power of words on youth athletes

17:14 Coaching people that are difficult to work with

20:51 Keeping your own motivation strong

23:10 The drivers to writing ‘The Spartan Mindset’ and its core lessons

27:01 The cause and effect of words

30:50 Self-talk and visualization

38:16 Power and peril words

46:48 The art versus the science of coaching

49:21 Connecting with the generation brought up in a digital age

53:29 Getting your message across to people who is in a different headspace

01:02:55 Why are some people ‘uncoachable’?

01:07:31 How to approach failure

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