Athletes face a lot of pressure from themselves, families, coaches and fans to be at their best performance from training sessions, to the friendly matches, to local competitions and even bigger when its an Olympic game. These are certainly not points that should be overlooked, even when they may not at all complain.
But, it is worthy of note, all this physical exercises in general especially when done as a means to serve others who look up to your talents other than as pleasure can be very weighty on them just like most non-sport involved careers, and therefore they need all the encouragements, motivations, support and love they can get to enable them deal with these demands and pressures.
Some of the ways to motivate athletes deal with this pressure may include:
Most coaches instruct rather than communicate, yes its quite expected as a coach to give your athletes instructions and be sure they are carrying them out properly but sometimes you need more than just instructing and giving orders around.
Sometimes you may be required to dump the coach’s coat and pick up the athletes jersey, then truly communicate on the level of athlete to athlete. This will help you understand your athletes better and find ways to fix their needs which surprisingly might be something you really can do, and you will be glad you listened.
Be a Good Role Model
The life of a coach should be a role model to its athletes, people learn faster from what they see you do than from what they hear you say. Live up to your instructions! For instance, if you need your athletes to be on the training field on time, be there ten minutes earlier. Always be punctual and live by example.
This is a very crucial point when trying to encourage athletes, team spirit should be greatly encouraged and individuality or unnecessary private cliques within the team should be discouraged. Team efforts has numerous benefits, it allows equity and individual talent value and foster respect knowing win or lose its achieved as a team.
Coach Motivationally but Practically
This specifically connote that just like we all, athletes need not just scolding and a word or two to up their game and keep playing. But a total package of great practically relatable motivational speeches and actions to boost athletes confidence could help.
All athletes have varying degrees of inspiration, that shows some are already very inspired on their own while others need to here a word or two more frequently from others to build their inspiration and coaches should be up to the task by harnessing all opportunity available to encourage them.
This motivation from coaches can come in diverse ways such as books, trips, recommendations etc. just get creative as a coach, get a plan, depending on the weakness of an athlete.
This has to do with the creative use of pictures, not necessarily hard prints but mental pictures and ideas to help your athlete envision possibilities. Also, real images can help too, images of persons who had made it before them, can give them some confidence to put in more work. Moreover images of how to carry out a particular move can improve their abilities too.
You cannot track the progress of your athletes if you do not have already set out goals. Goals are cardinal points of success, it gives you something to focus on and guide your plan. Make sure to clearly spell out your athletes short and long term goals. As a matter of fact, make sure they are reminded enough to look forward to it and less enough to not take it for granted or sound like a nuisance.