Sports Motivation Tactics That Do More Harm Than Good Every coach has their own way of motivating their youth sports team to get fired up before a game or push themselves to try harder next time. While there isn’t necessarily a “wrong” or “right” way to motivate your team, there are a few techniques that can sometimes backfire if they come across too harsh. And while it’s important that youth athletes learn how to take critique from a coach, you don’t want to go overboard with it. Here are 3 examples of how a sports motivation technique might actually do more harm than good: Compare everyone to the star player. This one can be dangerous from a couple angles. First off, it puts a lot of pressure on your best player to perform perfectly at all times. They might start to feel like if they make even one mistake they have let the whole team down. They know that the whole team is watching them and it’s a lot of responsibility to put on one kids’ shoulders. On the flip side, it can also inflate the ego of your star player and that never bodes well for team building. It can also make your other players feel like you don’t value their contribution to the team. If all of their achievements are measured against those of your best player they may feel like they are constantly coming up short. Some kids might start to resent your star player for all the attention and praise they receive, even if that athlete is humble about it, creating a deeper rift among your players. Make every play a life-or-death situation. Do you want your team to give it their all during practices and games? Of course. But they are kids and they are still learning the fundamentals of the sport. They are going to make mistakes —drop a ball, miss a pass, swing at bad pitches—but a good coach uses those mistakes to help your players develop and grow as athletes. At the end of the day you want your team to enjoy being on the field and want to come back tomorrow. It’s hard to be excited about practice when a player thinks they’re just going to get yelled at the whole time. Overreacting at every mistake could make for a very nervous team that is so afraid of doing something wrong they can no longer play well. Focus on what went wrong. Should you point out key plays that changed the flow of the game? Sure, those can be great coaching learning opportunities for your players. However, you want to temper your critique with a few positives. No one likes to lose, so don’t make it a harder pill to swallow by replaying every single thing that went wrong during the game. Instead of reading every single thing they
did wrong, try to also mention what things they did right. Where did you see individual players improve? Maybe someone made a good play or nailed a fundamental technique they had been struggling with. Those little compliments can take away some of the sting of losing. About the Author SportsSignup's (http://www.sportssignup.com) mission is to make it easy to manage sports programs and events by providing organizers with an online sport registration system that allows them to automate sport management tasks and allows members to complete registration and purchase team gear from any internet-connected computer.