Be it a child, young adult, or a full-grown individual, everyone needs to feel skilled, valued, and wanted. If you want to motivate someone, first make them feel each of these three qualities.
Motivation is the key to success as it ignites the determination and zeal to achieve a certain goal or objective. It is also a factor that adds to happiness as you feel elated once your desired goal is achieved.
Motivating young athletes is not as simple as it should be as one glove cannot fit all. Following are some useful strategies that professional coaches have found useful over their careers. We hope you find these useful in motivating young athletes to achieve success.
The best way to motivate young athletes is to create an environment for them where they feel inspired and safe. A place where they want to come gladly and train. A lively training facility where when a player arrives should exude a sense of drive to better themselves.
Give the training facility some fresh aesthetics, new and better equipment, sportswear, and comfortable shoes, and serve the purpose. This can readily uplift the state of mind in which players feel confident and ready to take on any challenge that comes their way.
Leftlane Sports is your perfect go-to solution regarding athletic equipment, sportswear, running shoes, or any other equipment that is needed. Take the opportunity to make things as interesting for your athletes as possible.
More importantly, the coach should be a friendly person who shares the passion of the sport and can encourage the players to be better athletes and individuals.
Make It Fun
It is as true as can be!
While I have seen many believing otherwise, it is crucial that athletes especially the younger lot need to enjoy themselves to feel motivated.
Learning does not have to be monotonous or crude or simply done for the sake of it. Learning must add value to your life and give you something to look forward to and not dread it.
Motivate young athletes are neurologically driven by emotion and care less about the ‘how’s, why’s, and what not’s.
That being said, programs and activities must be designed according to the needs and wants of the young kids. It is rather challenging and stressful as a coach, but that’s exactly what is going to help them achieve their goals.
Continuous and consistent motivation is of utter importance but even more important than that is the need to communicate it to your team.
If you are not consistently motivating your team, they are bound to lag, get lazy, and put no effort into training. Children become better athletes through conditioning, mental preparedness, and thorough training.
Positive feedback or a note of encouragement can do wonders for motivating them to do better every time.
Learn What Motivates Your Young Athletes
Each of your young athletes is different from the rest and needs to be dealt with accordingly. What acts as a motivator for one may do the opposite for another one.
Having information about every one of Motivate your athletes is essential to keep them focused and moving in the right direction. Once you have this basic information, you can use it to develop your motivational strategies accordingly.
There might be students who feel encouraged in the spotlight whereas others may feel meek and shy when called out by a large number of people. Better still, there may even be children who feel motivated when their whole team receives praise.
Be on the lookout for how they react in each situation to have a better understanding of their personality.
Explain The ‘Why’ Behind Vigorous Training
While you may consider this to be self-explanatory, young kids do not understand why they are doing extensive training or what benefit it will be to them ten years down the lane.
They are more interested in running across the field and kicking the ball for the exhilarating feeling that comes with it.
You, as a coach, need to sell them the benefits of this strenuous routine to keep them moving towards success. They need to be taught the importance of practicing each day in a way that does not feel like a repetitive task.
Start with fun activities aimed towards the target skill that you want to inculcate. Use simple instructions that seem more fun and less military.
Build up your team by encouraging them to become the support system of one another, helping and looking out for each other when needed.
This will instill a culture of unified team efforts where all members will work together on achieving a common goal.
Allow your team to forge strong connections and relationships with each other, as this could be a significant motivating factor.
Praise ‘All’ Achievements
Each time your young athletes achieve a goal or target, make it a point to acknowledge it through personalized feedback and words of motivation. The achievement could be as small as running a lap in record time or perfecting a certain position. What matters is that the athlete must feel empowered and encouraged to do better the next time.
Motivate young athletes often do not realize their strengths, take the opportunity to mention their improvements, and bring them to light at the right time.
Set Achievable Goals
Aim for short-term, tangible goals and communicate them with your young athletes. This makes them feel responsible for achieving these goals and will act as a motivating factor to get them working harder towards this common goal.
Goals can also be practice related to build up and polish their skills like drill training, attendance, performance, and motivation of teammates.
Type Of Motivation
Yes! there are two types of motivation, and if you want to motivate someone, you should know;
Extrinsic: Using an external factor, whether it is positive or negative to motivate athletes. Offering some sort of reward or incentive on a personal level is one example of positive extrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic: Inner wish to be successful or improve and be better than the competition. This is the best method to motivate a player and to inspire them to be their best every day.
Intrinsic motivation is far better than the less effective and uninspiring extrinsic method.
Individualize Athlete Feedback
The skills involved in youth sports vary greatly from each other. Provide personal feedback to each athlete regarding their strengths and weaknesses.
Let them know what they do best and encourage them to keep doing it. As for areas that require additional practice, use constructive encouraging statements in place of harsh comments or criticism to highlight areas that need improvement and offer support.
Show your athlete that you are willing to work with them to overcome their shortcomings. Avoid punishment for mistakes as it serves no purpose and is a demotivating factor for young kids.