Motivation can be defined as the desire to achieve a goal, with athletes potentially being motivated to win a competition, improve their skills or simply for enjoyment. The first step for coaches is to know what motivates their players, with youngsters generally being inspired by the following:
However, for young athletes to get the most out of sport, coaches play a major role, with the following points being worth considering when looking to inspire the next generation of sportsmen and women.
Discover Individual Motivators
Everyone is unique when it comes to motivation, meaning that coaches must learn as much as possible about their players in order to ensure that they remain focused on developing, as well as enjoying what they are doing. Whether it be for the love of the sport that they are participating in, improving skills, receiving encouragement or lifting a trophy, such factors are likely to have an effect upon how motivated young athletes are. However, it is certainly not “one size fits all” when it comes to motivation, meaning that it can take both time and effort in order to work out what makes different players tick. However, once this is achieved, coaches can start to come up with training sessions and objectives.
Any coach worth their salt will be able to answer the question of why youngsters should participate in sporting activity. Sometimes stating the benefits of what you are doing is the simplest method of motivating, as it acts as a reminder to players. Certain training exercises can sometimes feel pointless or repetitive, especially to youngsters, meaning that it becomes even more important to make them understand exactly why they are completing them. Coaches must also ensure that they explain this in a way that is understandable for children.
Maximise Teamwork Opportunities
Forming positive relationships and developing social skills is one of the biggest positives that comes out of sport, with players regularly being required to go the extra mile for the sake the team. The sense of connection in which sport can bring is priceless, with the best coaches being able to ensure that such bonds are as strong as possible. This can be achieved by encouraging team bonding, as well as making a point of celebrating any individual or team accomplishments.
It is important for coaches to try and recognise even the smallest of improvements, whether it be individually or as a team. Celebrating successes should not just come after an impressive victory on the weekend, with more minor recognition often having a greater impact. So, when players perform a coaching drill effectively or perform a skill that they had previously been unable to master, be sure to let them know how well they have done.
Whilst injury prevention is often a misunderstood term, there are certainly methods in which coaches and players can use in order to maximise their potential on-pitch time. There are a number of small components which make up this winning formula, which will also aid performance.
Whether you are a qualified coach who is in charge of a successful club or simply lending a helping hand once per week due to limited resources, coaching your own child comes with a string of difficulties. So, just how can coaches be both successful and fair when it comes to working with those closest to them?
There are generally two types of players, those who are the same on and off the pitch when it comes to their personality, along with those who are completely different. While some individuals are capable of being introverted away from sport and turn it on when necessary, others find it more difficult. So, just what can coaches do to get the best out of shy players?