Mei 05, 2009

Motivating Your Players

Many young soccer players come to practice or report on game days with a high sense of internal motivation. However, the question is "Is it the correct motivation for the tasks at hand?" As coaches, our challenge is to ensure that individuals' intrinsic motivation stems from an intent corresponding with the specifics of the team's practice or game.

This is not easy because we are dealing with individuals. Our society brings young players to our doorsteps with low self-esteem, poor habits, ballooning egos, grandiose visions, etc. To make it even more complex, many of these mindsets mask deep-seeded personal issue. However, we are recreational coaches, and the community is our team.

So we must become aware of the players who are intrinsically motivated by their love of the game or desire to compete. They play for an inner pride and work hard towards accomplishing challenging objectives. On the other hand, coaches must be equally aware of young players who may need external motivation. In Sports Psychology for Coaches, it is noted "the four primary needs of athletes are to have fun, feel accepted, have control, and to feel competent."

The most common tool to meet these primary needs is recognition. Yet there is a danger in using recognition in that it may trivialize or diminish the purpose of recognition itself. Therefore, when recognizing young players, make sure the recognition is specific, sincere, and is targeting a particular athletic feat. And above all else, be consistent in how you delve out the accolades.

For a recreational coach, it can be highly stimulating and rewarding to see apprehensive, self-doubting, average youngsters transform into self-confident, poised, hard-working athletes. These same attributes will be carried by many of our young players throughout their lives. The book Sports Psychology for Coaches is a good source for coaches trying to understand the driving forces behind individual and team motivation.

3 komentar:


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