The traditional “carrot and stick” approach to motivation is no longer the most effective way to motivate a sports team in the 21st century. Instead, coaches should focus on intrinsic motivation to get the best out of their athletes. With the right tips and strategies, coaches can become better motivators and help their athletes enjoy their sport more and appreciate the benefits of doing it well. The Pitchero Sports Coach Bible '17 e-book is a great resource for coaches looking to improve their skills and succeed in training camp.
It contains a wealth of information on topics such as motivating your team, preparation, and more. Positive feedback is essential for motivating young athletes. Coaches should encourage them to keep growing and improving, even if it means rewarding small steps along the way. Winning games or prizes may be a motivation for some, but simply acquiring skills will motivate many.
Wayne Goldsmith is an experienced professional coach with over 25 years of experience working with some of the world's top athletes, coaches, and teams. He has noticed that although athletics and organized sports have become more inclusive, training techniques have tended to stagnate and generalize the motivation of all athletes, which has reduced the motivation of many minorities. As a coach, it's up to you to attract each of those people and modify your training style to get the best out of that player every day. To maximize performance, coaches should focus on intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic rewards. Intrinsic motivation is when an athlete is motivated by their own internal desires and goals.
This type of motivation can be achieved by setting achievable goals for each athlete, providing positive feedback when they reach those goals, and creating an environment where athletes feel safe to take risks and make mistakes without fear of punishment or ridicule. Coaches should also strive to create an environment where athletes feel supported and valued. This can be done by providing individual attention to each athlete, recognizing their strengths and weaknesses, and providing them with resources they need to succeed. Additionally, coaches should strive to create a team atmosphere where everyone feels like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Finally, coaches should remember that motivation is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each athlete is unique and will respond differently to different types of motivation.
Coaches should take the time to get to know each athlete individually in order to understand what motivates them best.