5 Keys to Win at the Motivation Game


As a coach, you’re a constant source of wisdom to your players. You identify your players’ best abilities and allow them to build upon their skills. You adapt and refine game play and you’re at the forefront of every pep talk. Sometimes the toughest part of being a coach can be finding the right words or taking the right actions in really motivating students to learn whether it’s game time or practice.

It’s important to spark that confidence with your coaching so players can unleash their full potential. You need to have that trusting mentor and mentee relationship with your players to have an encouraging impact on them. But hey, sometimes it’s hard so we’ve rounded up five coaching motivation tips that will help unlock confidence and excellence.

  1. Be positive: Young athletes need praise; they need to know they’re doing a good job. Recognize them for the right things they do. Like what? Setting the ball properly or making the cut to the basket at the right time. Giving positive feedback also includes recognizing any improvements. Praise is important and should be done in public and in one-on-one teaching situations.
  1. Help strengthen weaknesses: Try putting a player in a position or situation they wouldn’t normally find themselves in. Correct their mistakes, slowly and calmly. Giving them the extra attention, which can really be a manner of minutes, shows them you believe they can succeed.
  1. Know your players off the court or field: As a coach, it’s important to always have an open ear. Take an interest in your player’s besides their athletic abilities. Strike up conversations about school, upcoming tests or future goals. Opening up communication by listening will only help to strengthen your relationship.
  1. Set challenging goals: Give your players specific goals to work towards during the season as a team and individually. Make sure the goals are realistic and offer clear directives on ways to accomplish them. Presenting a challenge versus dealing out threats will yield a team-wide effort to succeed.
  1. Be a good role model: As much as your words can impact a player, your actions could mean just as much. Be consistent in your attitude and behavior. Don’t yell at your players in a game if you never raise your voice in practice. Be compassionate, be fair and remember to avoid comparisons.

Remember to practice these effective coaching techniques way before the season starts. Your team will be closer and you’ll be a much better coach. Do you have any personal motivating tips? Let us know in the comments below!