The Art of Trash Talking

by Philip MacDonald | Last updated

Every sport has it. Most players have done it at one stage or another. Trash talking is part of the game. It’s a way to get into the mind of an opposing player and hopefully take him off his game. The truth though, is many players don’t know how to trash talk. Instead of a word game that goes back and forth discussing whose skills are better or weaker; players of today get into a verbal spat where they make racist and personal attacks. This is in no way trash talking.


This type of behavior is just two players that in over their heads with comments that they’ll likely regret at a later stage. Not only that but in no way does it put your team in a better situation to win the game. The player that remains calm and composed will have the advantage simply because he’s in control of his emotions/state of mind.

The most famous of all soccer trash talking that went bad was Zinedine Zidane and Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup final. Despite being a Zidane fan and happy that he defended the comments directed toward his family, the truth is that he lost his composure in this match and it ultimately affected the outcome of the finals. Had he stayed on the field, instead of being red-carded, I am confident France would have won the final.

In summary, the goal of trash talking is to get your opponent off his game. You need to be calm and ready for a word spat. But don’t forget, you want to be able to back-up your talk otherwise you risk embarrassing yourself and your team. Nobody did trash talking better than Michael Jordan.

In the video below Air Jordan discusses the importance how to trash talking and how other players don’t know how to do it and how it affects their team concept. Listen to Jordan discuss trash talking in the prime of his career. Awesome stuff!

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