The best ways to motivate your team of athletes

Many sport teams out there are successful because of their sense of motivation. Every team goes through good and bad times, but if each member of the team is motivated to improve and learn from their mistakes, that’s all you can ask for as a coach.

However, the fact is, it’s not easy keeping a whole team constantly motivated. At times, your athletes may lose focus, or lose confidence in themselves, and it’s you job as a coach to build them up and bring back their motivation to perform.

Pitchero has helped us come up with some of our favourite ways to motivate a team.

1. Set individual goals

When each athlete has a goal in mind, it motivates them to train even harder to achieve it. It’s important to assess each athlete individually to figure out what each athletes’ strengths and weaknesses are. You can then set up a discussion with them to dish out what they personally think their strengths and weaknesses are. Once that conversation has taken place, it’ll be easier for you as a coach to determine which goals should be set.

2. Set team goals

As well as setting goals individually, it’s great to set goals at a team level. This brings the team together to strive for a shared goal. It can help boost team morale, and gives them a chance to work as a team to achieve their goals. It’s important to note, that each goal should be realistic. Having a goal to simply ‘win’ a race or competition isn’t what we’re looking for here. Your goals should be more specific, and you should plan out how the team will go about achieving that specific goal.

3. Recognise each athletes’ efforts

Entrepreneur points out the importance of recognising each athletes efforts, and encouraging good effort with positive reinforcement. If one of your athletes had a stellar performance, make sure to recognise the effort they’ve put into the game, or run, and note down what specific techniques that impressed you. If you express your praise, the athlete is more motivated to repeat the same kind of performance.

4. Don’t treat losing as failure

According Pitchero, it’s important not to punish your athletes when they lose. Instead, see it as a learning curve. As a coach you’ve got to keep encouraging them to constantly improve and do better for next time. If they hear you focusing on the negatives – it can negatively impact their next performance.

5. Celebrate the achievements

To keep your team going along the right path of development, celebrate their achievements. It doesn’t have to be a physical reward, but simply cheering and showing your appreciation can also be a form of celebration. Letting your athletes know how happy you are will motivate them to do better, and continue to strive for achievements.

Want more coaching tips? Head to the Sprongo Blog.

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