Posted on September 27 2017
While motivation is key in bringing the best out of young athletes, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. Encouraging someone either on or off of the field seems easy enough, but there are subtle nuances to the act that can serve as a detriment to a player if not done correctly and with care. The experts of Sports Merits are here to help you properly motivate the young athlete in your life by identifying five of the most common mistakes parents and coaches make.
Overreacting to Mistakes
No matter how great an athlete might be, there will be times where he or she will make mistakes or fail to perform to expectations. One of the absolute worse things you can do for a young athlete’s moral is to overreact to mistakes. Even if players have performed moves perfectly countless times before, they shouldn’t be berated for messing up.
Focusing on the Best Players
Nothing can dissolve morale more than a coach who focuses mainly on the team’s star players. It makes no difference how great those players might be, the other members of the team have plenty to contribute if parents and coaches are willing to show them. When you ignore players who don’t play as well as the top-performing athletes, you’re sending them a silent message that all of the hard work they do goes unnoticed and unappreciated.
Asking for More Than Can Be Given
Every athlete is human, and humans have limits. You want to push your players or child, but not to such a degree that they feel burnt out or overtrained. This does little more than compromise performance and can degrade overall health. Playing sports is just as much of a mental exercise as it is a physical one, and athletes need time to recharge their bodies and minds to remain properly motivated.
Keeping the Pressure On
Practice shouldn’t be viewed as a “make it or break it” scenario. This is a time for young athletes to improve their performance and work towards their goals, not be made to feel as if they’ve either failed or succeeded without room for a healthy middle ground.
Making Sports All-Consuming
Your kids or players have interests off of the field or court, and they should be given plenty of time to explore those endeavors. It’s easier to maintain proper motivation when players don’t live and breathe sports every second of every day.
Have you found yourself making these motivation blunders? Correct your behaviour and watch your child or team revitalize their performance and motivation.