How to Praise Young Athletes, Players and Students to Get the Results You Want

Posted on

The 2 Best Ways to Motivate Young Players and Students . I think the best way to motivate young players and students is through praise, incentives, positive reinforcement and rewards that motivate them to do the things you want them to do. There are 2 things you can do that are easy and that will produce results:

1. Use effective positive encouragement and praise. How to do that is described below.

2. Use star patches, baseball patches, basketball patches, or soccer patches as incentives, rewards and for positive reinforcement for all sports and school, including soccer, baseball, basketball, football, swimming, martial arts, dance, softball, band and school students.

How to Give Effective Positive Encourage and Praise That Gets the Results You Want . Words are powerful. Think about the effect words can have on you if they are said by someone you love or work for. Keep in mind that kids are "kids". Even if they are teenagers they are still kids. I look back and regret that there were times when I was not patient enough as a coach. If I coach again I will try to use positive encouragement and praise and avoid negative criticism. I am convinced that positive encouragement and praise gets better results and is more fun too. WHAT you say is important but equally important is WHEN you say it and HOW you say it. Here are some ideas:

1. Encourage and praise the actions and behavior that you want from your players in a positive way and use the player’;s name . If it is something they did such as hustling, you can say "Great hustle Billy." But if it is something you want them to do, instead of saying something negative such as "Billy you have to play harder", try a positive approach such as "Billy, I know you can do it" and praise every small step of improvement Billy makes.

2. Give your players lots of encouragement and praise in a visible way so other players and parents see it or hear it.

3. Give praise for actions you are encouraging at the time they happen .

4. Give your praise in a way where everyone sees it and hears it so your players know that you are proud of them and the other players know what they can do to earn praise.

5. When a player does something you want them to do during a game or during practice (like bravery, hustle or great defense), get their attention and yell something like "Good job Sam", smile and make a hand gesture like a thumbs so they can see you are pleased. You might even tell them before the game that if they do something great that you will give them a "thumbs up".

6. Think about the SPECIFIC positive words and actions you want to use to promote and motivate your players . Remember that you need to be specific both in what you want to encourage and when you give praise. For example, if a player does something brave during practice and a game, and you can get their attention just after that, you can say "Way to go" or give a thumbs up and they will associate the praise with their behavior.

7. An example of Positive words and Negative words . Think about the words that can get the best results. For example, every coach wants his or her players to be "aggressive", but "aggressive" has a negative connotation. Many parents discourage "aggressive behavior". I think it is better to use the word "brave" than "aggressive". Heroes are brave and everyone thinks bravery is a good thing. I think "brave" gets better results than "aggressive" because kids want to be brave.

8. If you wait until halftime or after the game to give praise, you need to be specific about what you are praising . For example, say "Great defense Kate" instead of "Good job Kate", so Kate knows what you are looking for. If Kate did something specific that you want to encourage, be even more specific so Kate know specifically what you are looking for. For example, if Kate is a midfielder who has been good about attacking but has been slow to run back to help defend after losing the ball, you may say "Kate, you saved a goal. . " Remember – you want to encourage and reinforce SPECIFIC behavior, so be specific and say it loud enough that other players hear your praise, that is part of your positive reinforcement and motivation plan.