Trash talkin'

Has bad-mouthing your opponent ever really worked? I doubt if there are statistics on this, but to me it doesn’t seem like areal good idea - more like giving your opponent
extra motivation.

Depends on the opponent. Some are motivated, some are demotivated. Also, trash-talking can be a sign that the trash-talker is lacking confidence.

I think it’s more about building up confidence in you and your teammates than it is about tearing it down in your opponent.

Sometimes, trash-talkin’ is fun, if it’s good-natured and not really hostile. Sometimes it’s the reward the other team gets for being writing cheques their asses couldn’t cash.

But broadly speaking, it’s a bit like fighting in a hockey game. If you get in a good zinger on the other guys, your guys may have a bit of pep. Granted, the other guys may carry a surly resentment and may make things a bit more hostile.

If you get my wife trash-talking you, though, you have definitely raised her ire. You are definitely in for it.


DK Metcalf is a young wide receiver in the NFL, and in his second year he has developed a knack for getting penalties called against an opponent because they get angry enough at him to try to fight him. I’m not sure if it’s something he’s saying, or doing, or a combination but it seems to work. He has drawn at least 4 such penalties this year so far. So the “make them mad until they make a mistake” strategy can certainly work under the right circumstances.

On the other hand, I watched The Last Dance on Netflix which is a documentary series about the Chicago Bulls during their last championship season. The biggest takeaway I got from that series is that you should never, ever trash talk Michael Jordan. Even a subtle snub would be something he’d use as emotional fuel and he’d not only beat you, but go out of his way to humiliate you in the process.

'course it sometimes works. Remember Zinedine Zidane getting sent off in the 2006 World Cup final? And then France went on to lose the penalty shootout.