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Posted 07/02/2021 in Category 1 by John Couture

Motivation and WHY

Motivation and WHY

Motivation and WHY

John Couture


As a coach you have an incredible amount of power to influence your athletes in a positive way, both in terms of their sportsmanship and generally as human beings.


MOTIVATION is one key element of this process.


Doing it wrong – by yelling, intimidation, humiliation, or other ineffective tactics – will only create negativity, fear, and frustration, setting your team up for eventual failure and possibly creating a terrible experience that’ll turn off your athletes from ever pursuing sports again. Doing it RIGHT, however, could make a huge difference in the lives of your athletes and in the overall success of your team, creating a ripple effect of positive results that’ll extend far beyond the sports arena.


Some days it’s going to be extra challenging to motivate your athletes. When the weather is not ideal, after a loss, or when they’re just not feeling up to doing drills. That’s when it’s important to have a big enough WHY, or an emotionally compelling reason to go for it. This can mobilize your efforts and enables your athletes to quickly regain their focus and gather the energy needed to do their best. The big WHY is also what ties together EVERY single practice and game as a step forward towards reaching that ultimate goal. Your job as a coach is to bring that big WHY into the arena. Whether that big WHY is getting your team to a SPC championship, helping an athlete get a college scholarship, or that one get to Olympic tryouts. Help them to experience the big WHY in their imaginations, so they can use it as a reason to push themselves harder in practice.  The WHY doesn’t replace the day-to-day actions that must be accomplished to reach their potential.  The WHY gives them inspiration to actually do the actions - with intensity and with a purpose.


Have your athletes ask and answer these questions about every drill and action they complete:

WIIFM - What’s in it for me?

WIIFT - What’s in it for team?


Motivation is key, and you are the chief motivator for the whole team. Remember you need to keep your motivation and passion up. So take care of yourself and enjoy the process.


Lastly … if all of the above doesn’t work, if you’ve got an athlete who’s a motivational flatliner and won’t respond no matter what you try after you’ve given it a significant amount of effort then you did what you could do. You are not responsible for your athletes’ achieving their potential, they have to want it and do THEIR part.  You focus on what you can control; they will decide how to follow through with their thoughts, emotions, and actions.


Activity: Write down how you stay motivated and write down how you will try to keep your athletes/teammates motivated?  Ask each player what is their “Why?”  Keep these notecards to motivate them during adverse times.


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