The League


What's the Value Of Trash Talking?

Is trash talking an effective motivational tool or does it hurt team camaraderie?

Posted by Emil Steiner on November 19, 2008 12:24 PM

view from the couch: Listen up you WAPO commentators. Being a good player never excuses poor sportsmanship. When athletes get in trouble, people always complai...

Umd: This is a huge issue in youth sports today. One of my sons was playing in a soccer game when he was 11. He was a prolific scorer even then...

cialis professional: Yes I agree with you!...

Make a Comment  |  All Comments (9)

Weymouth :

Joey Porter is nothing but a loud mouth. So what if he has racked up some sacks, it doesn't excuse him being a jackass all the time. He better keep his head on a swivel this weekend.

Gooch :

There is no place in sports for trash talk or taunting.

Many years ago we played Hayfield High School in our homecoming football game. Our team was pretty bad (Mt. Vernon) - we only won 2 games and tied 1 that year, and Hayfield was a much stronger and better team than we were.

The center for the Hayfield team went out of his way to trash talk us after almost every play - taunting the ref's called it - but they never threw a flag on him once. Appairently this was standard practice for the Hayfield team.

After another huge gain by the Hayfield offense down to our goal line he ran up to me - got in my face and started his trash talk again. All I remember is punching him right in his big mouth, both benches emptied onto the field and large brawl began.

I remember as my coach was walking me to our bench - I had been kicked out of the game along with the big mouthed Hayfield center, asking me what had happened. I could not even remember hitting him - it happened so fast - I thought he had hit me - his words had that effect.

I do remember our fans giving me a standing ovation - at last someone had stood up to and hit back at these Hayfield thugs. Our team realy came together after that and we scored two straight touchdowns on Hayfield (still losing 32 - 16).

The Hayfield coach spent the rest of the season trying to get me kicked off the team. He called and lobied all the coaches in the District to not vote for me for All-District team (I had been All-District the year before). His efforts were in vain as I did not only make All-District but also Honorable Mention All-State.

The Hayfield coach was the one to blame for the entire incident I think - he continued to allow his players to taunt and abuse the other teams. He had full knowege that this was going on - I guess he thought it was a cool way to fire up his team.

There is no place for trash talk in any sport - shut up and play. The coaches are responsible for treaching thier kids not to treat others like that.

It was funny though after the Hayfield game all the teams we played went out of their way to show good sportsmanship to our team and we did the same. I heard that Hayfield continued on with the trash talking and eventually got the crap beat out of them by TC Williams and old Fort Hunt.

It was one thing to beat us on the football field - even beat us badly. But I will never let anyone rub my or my teams noses into it. We willnot take that and will respond wth our fists everytime.

So shut up and play.

wallyp :

There is an old story about Winston Churchill. It seems that he had a little too much to drink at a party, and some old dowager woman comes up to him, looks down her nose at hime, and says "Winston, you're drunk." And he replied something like "Madam, I may be drunk, but you're ugly. In the morning I will be sober, but you will still be ugly."

I think of this when I think of trash talkers. They are jerks, plain and simple, with no manners and no sense of sportsmanship. When the game is over, they will have won, but they are still jerks.

Tom Martin :

There will always be trash talkers. Some do it to psych themselves up, some do it in an attempt to intimidate the opponent. In my case (when directed at me) it merely increased my focus and performance. Invariably the trash talkers were considered jerks, regardless of skills, and most were not the best players either.

Let em talk, big deal. I'm teaching my kids not to do it, but not to get bent about it either. Let your play talk.


I am concerned about how it effects the kids. As a parent you see them emulating athletes and you hope they don't follow the Joey Porters and Pacman Joneses of the world, but it's hard. For many athletes today the swagger is half their skill. I am not taking away from Porter's talent, but he says himself that it is a head game. He gets inside the opponents heads by talking trash. That is the part I am opposed to. What happened to out playing someone on field and then shaking hands after the final whistle? Isn't that what being a real champion is all about?

Rat :

Does it not unnerve opponents most when athletes make a good play, and just go about their business as if they do this all the time? In fact, trash talking and posturing are a huge waste of energy and only serve to pump up the other team.

view from the couch :

Listen up you WAPO commentators. Being a good player never excuses poor sportsmanship. When athletes get in trouble, people always complain about how our top athletes are coddled and given a sense of entitlement such that they think they are above the rules. Then you have the Mark Maskes of the world writing that it's ok to trash talk if you "back it up." Oh really? So if you can't play very well and you trash talk you're a jerk, but if you're a good player, feel free to trash talk as much as you want? Ok, but don't then wring your hands and complain about the thug element in sports when we have incidents like the Pistons-Pacers brawl a few years. You'd better know where that path leads before you start walking down it.

Umd :

This is a huge issue in youth sports today. One of my sons was playing in a soccer game when he was 11. He was a prolific scorer even then. When he scored a goal the coach asked him why he wasn't celebrating. I told him no, it was not the classy thing to do. But over the years between the coaches and other players that would trash talk or give him an elbow or kick here and there, he became like them in spite of all our talks.
I see it in the coaches, I see it in the parents. Youth sports are no longer just fun for the all around development of the kids, it is parents reliving the life they wished for. This trash talking by the professional athletes just give the parents permission to allow and encourage this type of behavior.

cialis professional :

Yes I agree with you!

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company