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The Slytherin Dungeons

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I played like a sack of dragon dung,” said Ron in a hollow voice when the door had swung shut behind Ginny.

No, you didn’t,” said Harry firmly. “You’re the best Keeper I tried out, Ron. Your only problem is nerves.”

 

While Harry pretended to add Felix Felicis to Ron's juice in order to increase his confidence for the Quidditch match, most magical folk rarely have access to this particular potion. If you had been Harry, and you didn't have the potion, what would you have done to calm Ron's nerves?

 

10 scales if posted by Sunday 8th December, 23:59 HOL time.

5 scales if posted by Tuesday 31st December, 23:59 HOL time.

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I think some good fashioned tea and a pep-talk would be within my capabilities. If Ron were up to it, perhaps a Calming Draught to soothe his nerves, but I am not sure what is the policy on other potions. Maybe I would also point out how well Ron did at the try-outs, practices and other areas and give him some tips about other players.

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I didn't like Harry books 2-6, and I have no idea of what goes on in his head (and don't want to know).

However, if I was Angelina Johnson, and Ron was  complaining about being a terrible Keeper (and I'd actually made him to be Keeper), I'd remind him that I'd not have assigned him that position if I didn't think he could do it.  I think, depending on how close to game time this discussion took place, I would go over the game, play by play, and have Ron tell me how he could have played better (and what he did which he thinks is wrong.) It might be that Ron is making up a bunch of stuff in his head and listening to that (which isn't true) instead of just looking at his actual performance. Either way, I'd not let up until Ron felt better about his ability to play.

 

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I would just have relied on my words. I've had a lot of experience motivating people and it really just comes down to letting them talk it out until you're sure you know what is truly bothering them. That way you can target your praise and practical advice to where it will do most good. I also try not to make my praise and 'you can do it' too over the top as people usually just see through this or blank it out. In Ron's case, I think reminding him of how he'd performed in the last match of 5th year might be helpful and perhaps even getting him to try and think beyond the match to help him introduce some more perspective might work.

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Based on my understanding of the Unforgivable Curses, a well placed Imperius could do wonders to ensure my more nervous players wouldn't doubt themselves (in fact, one could use the spell to improve another player's flying speed too, but that's risky when in the air yourself).  But this strikes me as way too potent a remedy for the situation - especially in light of current law regarding those curses!  I'm feeling drawn to some sort of mind magic:  maybe Legilimency to understand the actual issues (there's a possibility that some curse or disease may be blocking his mind from understanding his actual skill level)?  Going into a Pensieve memory of the actual tryout so he can see his own past great performance in third person?  

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I'd attempt to get Ron to relax. This would include telling him to take deep breaths, offering him a warm beverage, or playing music. I would also try to get other members of the team to show their support for Ron or just get the entire team hyped for the match. The idea of working as a team may alleviate the nerves. If none of that works, I might opt for a Calming Draught (or an Unforgivable Curse).

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I would talk to Ron to see if i couldn't understand exactly why his confidence was so low, so i'd have a better idea what i could do to build up his self-confidence. I might see if I could borrow Dumbledore's pensieve and actually show him what a great try-out he had, as a reminder. And I definitely love the idea of a cheering charm and maybe even an unforgivable curse. 

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I think most potions or spells would be illegal in competition. Ron was not a “natural” talent like Harry and other members of his family, who he was always competing with. He didn’t even try out for the team until his sixth year, when Harry was Captain. I agree with Harry’s approach – a psychological one. I probably would have worked with Hermione to set up a group of “cheerleaders”, who would laud his every move during practice until his confidence was built up.

Edited by Polaris Black

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