Many parents want their children to succeed in sports. They look like Cristiano, Messi, Rafa Nadal, Alberto Contador, etc., depending on the sports discipline in which they compete. Even this happens with the coach. But not only that. It is clear that a coach will want to get the best from his players, regardless of whether he wants success or not in the future. And this is where motivation plays a role. That’s why today I want to tell you how to motivate young athletes.
1. Promote equality in the team
What would you think if your teammate played more of you, struggled the same in each practice? What if the coach continues to praise him? And if you set an example to follow when the rest do something wrong and deceive you? All players are the same. Don’t forget that we are in grassroots sports and that, first of all, the goal is to train them in values and to get healthy habits. We don’t get anything positive if we highlight one player over another. Thus, the only thing we will achieve is creating jealousy in our other classmates and many are motivated because they will think: “Whatever he does, he is a favorite and he will always be the best” .
2. Realizing the ups and downs of sports performance
Staying above is very complicated. Everything will not always go well. We cannot ask children to be competitive like elite athletes, because even this does not eliminate tides. At that time, reading inspirational and motivational quotes can help.
3. Consider the child’s opinion and give him autonomy to decide
Very motivating and satisfying to know that our opinions and proposals are, at least, heard by someone who is superior to us. Or what’s the same: knowing that we contribute with our sand grains for the progress of our team.
On the other hand, giving up some autonomy to children so that they decide also prefer motivation. Decisions are always made. Obviously you can’t take everything, but you can leave them some autonomy to make a decision. By the way, it will help them become adults and get responsibility.
- Set realistic goals
Here I have commented on another entry. We must be realistic, because otherwise we will demand more than what we can achieve and eventually we will be discouraged when we do not reach the goal.
“Setting goals is the most important step in staying motivated” says Adam Davies, co-founder of The Coaching Institute. “The mind and the spirt need something to focus on otherwise it will begin to drift and life will literally have no meaning. This is why athletes need to continue to progress in their athletic evolution.”
Another question that needs to be remembered is that when we have to set goals, we must always exceed our possibilities. Meaning: look out of the comfort zone. For example, if my goal is to run a 10 km race in 46 minutes and I see that I can do it without problems, I can propose to do it in 44 minutes. And so on, so as not to “settle down” and see the exercise we are practicing as if it were a challenge for us.
- Strengthen positive aspects
Many coaches fall into negative blame for their players. “You are very bad. We lose because you cannot survive.” Expressions like this, motivate the athlete to fall on the floor and feel guilty. Change it with phrases like: “I like the way you play today” or “You haven’t scored a goal, but you have created many goal opportunities and you have supported your teammates in defense”.