Thinking About… Motivation

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thinking about... motivation

There is no disputing the fact that for maximum performance players need maximum motivation. Motivation to perform and to prepare is unquestionably a prerequisite for success.

The standard view of players and motivation (dare I say the conventional wisdom) is that players come to a team as a lump of clay and coaches add motivation as part of the process until they reach their ultimate level. A more nuanced view might include the value of intrinsic motivation and the need for the coach to cultivate the intrinsic motivation of the players. There is obviously some truth in each of those understandings but what if we are approaching this problem from the wrong direction.

What if every player already has motivation when they arrive. And what if the coach’s contribution to a player’s motivation level is not what they add or cultivate, but what they subtract or destroy. In this understanding, players with high motivation are actually those whose coaches have not demotivated them. There are many, many coach’s actions that demotivate players; overtraining, playing favourites, excessive rules, ignoring injuries, pointless drills, disorganised, unplanned practices, excessive pressure and stress, inconsistent demands, unclear or unrealistic goal setting etc etc.

Perhaps a coach would be better off by focusing on minimising demotivation, before spending time on extra motivational tricks.


A collection of more Coaching Tips can be found here.


For more great coaching tips, check out the Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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