How to motivate young athletes? 13 things to avoid
One of the biggest concerns in sports today is related to the motivation of young athletes to enable them to press their potential.
There are many professionals (coaches, assistants, directors, doctors, psychologists, psychologists, etc.) who, from different angles, try to find the basic principles to guarantee sufficient motivation to achieve the maximum possible gratification in sport. The problem is that there is no consensus between them.
However, you can always think back, i.e. Consider what should not be done if you want to keep an athlete motivated
To motivate young athletes, avoid...
Here are 14 aspects to avoid in the sports world, especially young athletes. The recommendations are, primarily, for coaches.
- Don't tolerate performance ups and downs
In the world of sports, as in other areas of life, athletes can have better days and worse days. The important thing is that they feel supported by their coaches and that they respect and understand the changes. For this, it is always important to pay attention to the habitual behavior of the athlete and to choose the right tools to deal with it.
- Consider "result = being"
Many athletes feel that the environment values ‹‹them as a person based on their sporting achievements. In these cases, they think that if a good result was obtained, it is "better" and if a bad result was obtained, "it is worse". The question is to know if one is independent of the results obtained, these can be influenced by several variables which are not only related to oneself. To do this, avoid comments such as "You've lost, you're useless".
- Limit participation in decision-making
The athlete should have the possibility to decide, for example, on his training objectives or conditions. The fact that feeling that personal opinion is taken into account it provides a positive feeling that can increase motivation and responsibility depending on the sport. We must try to consult, where appropriate, the point of view of the athlete and try to reach a consensus with him.
- Set unrealistic goals
It is important that the goals are realistic. In fact, it's one of the basics of a good lens. To maintain or increase motivation, it is essential that the goals are seen as achievable and that the athlete himself believes that he can achieve them. If this happens too ambitious goal and with which the athlete feels that he will not prosper, it is difficult that the motivation does not decrease.
- Encourage negative feedback
It should be borne in mind that the athlete values ‹‹positive and encouraging feedback. For this reason, focusing on the negative aspects can only cause a decrease in mood. It is logical to think that we must correct what has been done wrong, but it is important to recognize the results obtained and to encourage them in all situations.
- Encourage a pattern of chronic dissatisfaction
All the people who are part of the athlete's environment must take into account the same situation in order to avoid continuing to show his dissatisfaction, if necessary. This is why it is important to help the athlete see the positive aspects of his condition and, in no case, support the negative view.
- Avoid the principle of fair play
The principle of fair play is called "fair play", i.e. competition based on respect for others and knowing that not all is good in sport to achieve the desired goal.
In this sense, if an athlete believes that his coaches and other referents encourage him to avoid "fair play" to obtain a better result, motivation tends to drop, because he is encouraged to behave in a fair. Against one of the basic principles of sport.
- Perform Routine Workouts
Monotony is a wear and tear on athletes. The lack of new goals and the feeling of not progressing means that the motivation to complete the sport diminishes. It is important to promote improvements and redirect the athlete's career from time to time.
- Only recognize results, "success=win"
In the evolution of the athlete, positive reinforcement must be done in the whole process. It is a mistake to identify success solely with winning a competition since an athlete can achieve success based on the achievement of other goals and objectives. That is why it is important to keep in mind that success is also achieved through small progress and awareness that does not always depend on oneself and one's abilities.
- Put competition before personal competition
In sport, the most important thing is the athlete and his progress. Therefore, his attention and personal development should be the focus. You can't fight only to get a concrete result in the short term, but one should consider changing athletes in the long term.
- Reinforce false causal attributions
You must help the athlete to be aware at all times of the causes of his sports results. In this sense, we cannot make the athlete believe that his successes and / or failures always and exclusively depend on himself or, if not, on the environment.
The important thing is to find a balance and make him understand that, to achieve an objective, his skills are as important as the external factors that can influence them. But always stay realistic and objective.
- Encourage that any challenge is surmountable
You cannot make the athlete believe that all challenges are surmountable. You must help him become aware at all times of his abilities, but also of his limits. Above all, it is the limitations that condition the possible achievement of an objective. Therefore, it is important to be clear when we believe that no matter how hard we try, the goal will not be achieved.
- Encourage team differences
Sports teams are groups of people who come together in a sport to achieve a common goal. This means that there is cohesion and identification of the group. To maintain these characteristics that undoubtedly generate positive feelings, it is important to try to enhance the similarities of the team members and not to draw attention to the differences.
If we continually notice what separates the team it is easier for group identification to break down and, therefore, individual and group motivation to diminish.