Coaching Youth Sports – How To Motivate Your Players

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As a basketball coach, your coaching philosophy should concentrate, first of all, on stimulating your players, creating a stress free environment and making practice sessions fun and stimulating. A coaching philosophy is not about setting the highest standards possible and then exhaust the children towards meeting your expectations. It is a bout setting reasonable standards and expectations for you and your team.

Especially when you are working with children, it is very important to motivate them. Your expectations should always be according to the age group you are coaching, and you must constantly encourage each and every player on your team. I'm not saying that you should not have any expectations, but just do not overdo it. Some kids may be motivated by tough challenges, such as sinking 10 free throws in a row, but for others this kind of challenge may put too much pressure on them. If they feel they can not face the challenge and live up to your expectations, they may lose their motivation to participate.

As a coach, you must take the time to get to know each player, because each of them will react differently to certain stimuli. By getting to know your players, you will be able to determine which motivational tactics work best for each player. However, there are some general cues to activate your team:

Let them see your enthusiasm and your passion for basketball, as well as your satisfaction as a teacher. Remember that when you are working with children, you are not just their coach, but you will be a role model to them. Your excitement and enthusiasm will inspire them and they will see the beauty of the game, and learn to enjoy it.

Do not set impossible goals. Remember that for kids, it is more important to have fun while playing and to enjoy the game, so do not put too much pressure on winning every game. As their coach you must motivate them and set attainable goals, so they are constantly stimulated and encouraged. If they manage to achieve those goals they will be probably more confident, and their whole game will improve. Convince them that being a winner means giving your best effort, regardless of the situation.

Be positive. It's simply the best motivational tool there is.

Constantly motivating the players is one of the toughest responsibilities of a coach. Confidence and motivation have direct impact on the entire productivity of each player, and, quite, the productivity of the team. Help the kids gain confidence and encourage them each step of the way. Let them know that making mistakes is human, and it's part of the game. And, most importantly, do not use threats as motivation! Kids are there to have fun while playing and learn from their mistakes, not be punished for them.