Much of how you coach today depends on your personality type and how you were coached during your development phase. A primary goal for every coach is to know how to motivate his youth football players. Use these steps for player motivation and get your kids ready to play football.
5 Key Steps for Player Motivation
Step 1: Begin your player communication with positive words. As a football coach, you always want to set the tone, and this is especially true when you want to motivate your young team.
‘I see and appreciate the effort you are putting in.’
‘I believe you have the speed to be a great player..’
‘I appreciate your attitude on the football field..’
This a) affirms the player’s effort and/or ability is recognized, b) motivates the player to continue to work for the betterment of the team.
If the player is not up to speed, it is your job to get him on track. You may say- ‘I appreciate the effort you’re putting in, and here’s how you can work so we can get better..’.
Remember, a positive attitude rubs off on your players and will spread to your coaching staff, parents and everyone else involved. Football is supposed to be fun, it’s your job to set the tone.
Set an objective or goal that is inspiring, and let your team know your coaching staff will be there to support them. Winning your league championship is your eventual team goal, inform your team that you are committed to help them get there.
‘I believe in this team, and we (coaching staff and family) want to support you to win a championship’.
Ask your players to confirm that they are onboard with the inspiring objective. Think of this as asking your team to verbally agree to work hard for you. You want a resounding agreement out of your squad.
‘Are you prepared to put the work in to win your league championship?’.
‘Are you committed?’.
Acknowledge the Step 3 agreement. This is your signature on the verbal contract that you have set with your youth football players.
‘I’m happy that you’re on board with our goal, now let’s work’.
Ask for suggestions and feedback from your players, coaches and parents. It may sound counterintuitive, but as a coach, you want to continue to improve. Are you doing a solid job motivating your players? Your football team can answer that.
Set individual actionable plans for your players. These do not have to be elaborate, just to focus on areas where they can improve. One of your slower players can benefit from a certain speed drill, have them perform more reps. Success carves a path to confidence- Inspire your little guys, and they most certainly will work for you.
‘All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them’ – Magic Johnson