Motivation and Coaching – A Misunderstood Coaching Fundamental Part 2

How do you help athletes find their Motivation?

Following on from Part 1 we continue with the different types of motivation or as I would call them inspiration methods as mentioned in Part 1 to help your athletes.

The first is a known theory and widely tested approach to motivation in sport and other achievement is the theory of self-determination. The theory is based on a number of motives or regulations, which vary in terms of the degree of self-determination they reflect.

Self-determination has to do with the degree to which your behaviours are chosen and self-initiated. The behavioural adjustment can be placed on a self-determination continuum Identified and  represent self-determined types of extrinsic motivation because behaviour is initiated out of choice, although it is not necessarily perceived to be enjoyable.

 

Fig. 1 Courtney E. Ackerman, MA -Positive Psychology

The next method is the extrinsic model of motivation aligns favourably with the “carrot and stick” approach school of motivation. Offering a player reward or enforcing their compliance with the threat of negative consequences is a little old school in terms of motivating your sport’s team in the 21st Century.

Another way of looking at Extrinsic motivation is when we are motivated to perform in an activity because we want to earn a reward and avoid punishment i.e. winning a championship or avoid relegation.

Fig. 2 Verywell / Joshua Seong

The final method is Intrinsic motivation is the internal desire by a player to improve, achieve and succeed. It is your job as a coach to be able to encourage that desire within a player, challenging them to become the best every single day. Coaches should use this to inspire players and is considered the healthiest type of motivation and reflects an athlete’s motivation to perform an activity simply for the reward inherent in their participation. i.e. learning a new skill or make new friendships etc..

Intrinsic motivation comes from within, is fully self-determined and characterised by interest in, and enjoyment derived such as sports participation.

Some athletes devote hundreds of hours to repeating mundane drills; they realise that such activity will ultimately help them to improve and when a behaviour becomes integrated it is in harmony with one’s sense of self and almost entirely self-determined.

For example, completing daily stretching exercises because you realise, they are part of an overall goal to enhance performance and be integrated within ones training regime.

What Coaches should do to help the players?

Simply: do nothing.

Just watch listen and observe.

Motivated athletes stand out like a light.

EXAMPLES:

  1. The Player who arrives early to help set up the training environment.
  2. The player who stays behind to help clean up the gym or volunteers at the clubhouse
  3. The Rugby Player at the end of a hard training asks the coach to stay and do kicking practice.

Motivation will, given the opportunity, express itself…. if you allow them to.

Every coach needs to get to know his / her athletes, because Motivation comes from within the key to better understanding what motivates your athletes is to get to know them.

Summary:

Motivation of athletes is like digging for gold: it can be difficult to find but if you persevere and persist until you find it, the rewards are immeasurable.

Coaches cannot motivate athletes: rather coaches must seek to provide the environment and opportunity for athletes to discover what it is that motivates them as individuals.

However, if coaches understand their athletes and what it is that motivates their athletes, Anything is possible.

Finally, Always strive to be original and innovative in applying motivational techniques.