Motivating Athletes: Techniques and Strategies for Coaches

When it comes to motivation, it's essential for coaches to lead by example. Your attitude, personality and behavior every day are essential for inspiring enthusiasm in athletes. Show them that you're passionate about training and sports, that you have fun and are excited about every practice and game. Smile, be energetic, move your body to be in action with the athletes, high five at the end.

If you embody motivation, it will be contagious and your athletes will feel it too. Positive feedback is also a great way to motivate athletes. For example, a dancer may be motivated to work hard tomorrow because her coach made a positive comment to her at the end of practice. If coaches understand their athletes and what motivates them, great things can be achieved. By being the type of coach that your athletes trust, respect and admire both on and off the field, you'll help them reach their full potential by working harder than they ever thought they could.

Coaches can develop psychologically motivated athletes with positive self-esteem by building self-esteem and a sense of belonging and by limiting critical comparisons with the success of other athletes. In a study conducted by Ruiz-Tendero and Salinero Martin (201), researchers found that both coaches and athletes considered dedication to be the most influential factor in motivated success. They believe that the key to motivation lies in constantly talking, “cheering up” and providing a training environment full of energy and enthusiasm. Coaches can also increase the autonomy of their athletes by encouraging self-control, reflection on performance and the honest evaluation of physical and emotional well-being. Training environments can encourage or renounce mental strength, a complementary component of the motivational toolbox. Coaches must strongly urge athletes to be intelligent about their competitive mentality and the harmful consequences of ignorance of training.

Coaching pressures often cause distress to athletes who have a self-centered mentality and a performance climate. The more a coach can establish an environment that supports all three needs, the more motivated his athletes will be. In many ways, the coach plays a fundamental and enriching role in responding to the emotional and physical needs of the athlete. To maximize motivation among athletes, coaches should focus on setting an example with their own behavior, providing positive feedback, understanding what motivates each athlete individually, increasing autonomy, creating an environment that supports all three needs, and encouraging intelligence about competitive mentality.