Bruce Pearl the coach once said,»I have learned that these guys want to win. They have been very willing to adapt and play unselfishly.«

As a coach it will be your responsibility to motivate your players on court and during practice. It is a fine balance an athlete has to find for both athletics and regular daily activities so motivation will come into play. The busy schedule of an athlete lends itself to the overwhelming need to reorganize constantly and ensure that development is continually in progress. The analysis of what is the best use of time is something that a coach will find that they do on a constant basis.

When a coach finds that a player is lagging and not performing to the best of their abilities then motivation will be needed. It is important that a coach talk to their players on a daily basis to keep communication open amongst the team. This will allow the coach to know when the players need to have motivational support. As Bruce Pearl stated, »He plays so hard and plays with guts and passion, and he’s the kind of guy you’d like to have on your team, but hate to play against. I think it’s a combination of respect, admiration and good fun.« All coaches want to motivate their players to manifest this very thing in their own teams.

Every player will have different things that motivate them. Team chemistry will vary with every team and a coach will have to use different strategies for motivating with every group.

Here are some steps to start with when you want to motivate your players.

  • A coach should listen to their players as they want to be listened to and use the information gathered to help to develop the team. When a player feels understood they will be motivated to excel for their coach.
  • A coach should practice being ethical and show his players how to play with integrity. This will make a strong reputation for the team. The team will feel more motivated because people will think highly of them. As an example: Referees will be more willing to give your players the benefit of the doubt on close calls during games which in turn your players will then feel more motivated.
  • A coach should explain how the benefits of playing the sport will enhance their player’s lives. Things like healthy bodies, college scholarships, professional careers, and traveling, making friends are all excellent examples of motivators when the team is feeling down or unmotivated.
  • You can set up challenges and drills that showcase the skills of your players. For instance running bleachers and wind sprints. You can challenge your players to beat their last finish times which will motivate them to the next level of their endurance. This will encourage not only adrenaline and mental stimulus but give them something to look forward to in the practice day.
  • Listen to inspirational music and tapes during practice.

Picture credit freakychickCreative Commons Attribution