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Good Question, Ted Lasso! How Questions Can Enhance Our Response-Ability.

Mindset Made Simple Tip #154 – Watch or listen HERE.

It’s been a rainy Fourth of July weekend in Ohio. So last night I took advantage of being indoors by sharing the best show ever with my dad. I LOVE Ted Lasso. I am not one to rewatch shows (except Law & Order: SVU, of course). But Ted Lasso? I could watch it over and over and laugh and learn every time!

My dad isn’t sure it’s the best show ever, but he did laugh, and I even got an “it’s entertaining” out of him! That’s a win!

We watched an episode from Season 3 where Ted is implementing “Total Football” (click HERE to see the clip). The timing of seeing this episode is perfect since I promised to talk about Power Tool #2 from my recent presentation at the NCATA last week.

If you’ll recall, I ran through Power Tool #1 last week – the power in our ability to choose one thought over another.

Power Tool #2 and Total Football have some similarities. We have discussed Power Tool #2 several times in several contexts, but Total Football goes along with my train of thought on this tool…one I thought about for about 100 miles on my trip home from Buffalo State and the NCATA Summit.

I know…the anticipation! Power Tool #2 is our RESPONSE-ABLIITY…but after Ted Lasso’s Total Football explanation, I want to put a different twist on it, so read on if you are weary of this topic!

According to Coach Lasso, Total Football has four important aspects, one of them being versatility. He is asking his players to move, shift, replace or do whatever THE SITUATION NEEDS!

To do this, you must OTL – Observe The Landscape, an acronym our kids at Akron may never forget 😊!

And this is the beauty of the entire message… "what does this situation need right now?” That is what Coach Lasso wants his players to ask over and over as they move up and down the pitch. You can hear the question at the 26-second mark in THIS clip.

Think about it. If we are asking “What does this situation need”, what are we doing that is helping, not only our team’s performance but our own.

This question is very similar to Trevor Moawad’s in Getting To Neutral: How To Conquer Negativity and Thrive in a Chaotic World, “What does this situation require of me?” as he encourages us to stay neutral and move on to the next play on the pitch and in life.

He and Ted Lasso both agree that getting too far ahead of our next step is not always helpful! Coach Lasso takes it one step further and tells his guys that sometimes the best answer is hidden behind another, so continuing to ask questions helps us dig down to our best moves!

If responding with a question seems like treading water, let’s dive a little deeper. What does asking a question do for us?

  • It switches our brain from problem finder to solutions seeker.

  • It keeps us out of our heads and out of victim mode.

  • It switches us to an outward focus which allows us to see what others need and when we are helping others, we, too, are helping ourselves.

  • It helps us see the options and prompts us to take action.

It helps us RESPOND in a way that moves us forward.

These RESPONSE-ABLE questions are not “why” questions, but “what” or “how” questions.

I was listening to a podcast featuring the author of Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Ethan Kross and he talked about actor Will Smith’s question.

His is “What can I do to make this situation even better?” Maybe he forgot it as he slapped Chris Rock, but this is the question he goes to, knowing it helps him remain calm and in control and it helps everyone around him be more comfortable. Win-win!

These are not “why is this happening?” questions. They are powerful questions…questions that help us move forward to make the most of the situation.

They aren’t pie in the sky, everything’s perfect thoughts. They are fact and information-seeking, both of which help us shift to neutral and play use Roosevelt’s method of doing what we can, with what we have, where we are.


How many times a day do we ask questions, you ask? As many times as you need to do make the next best move.

If our first RESPONSE to a thought, feeling or event…all out of our control…is a question, we grab the bull by the horns and allow ourselves to move in the direction we need to go…not how we feel, not how the wind is blowing…but in the best direction we can see.

The best direction we can see right now may not be the final direction, but it is moving us from where we are to where we want to be…and that is progress.

Asking questions is a great way to get to neutral, be present and move forward.

So as you move through your next performance, whether it is managing a situation at home or on the pitch, remember Coach Lasso’s question, “What does this situation need?” and build some productive momentum!

Manage the moments by asking good questions!

Have a great 4th of July!


P.S. If you've been thinking about adding mental training into your 2023-24 plans, contact me today at or call/text 234-206-0946 and let’s put together a plan for your program! I can work with you, then you implement the program or you can outsource it to me!

Julie Jones

Mental Performance Coach

SSB Performance • 234-206-0946

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