Determining your Motivation Style

If you’ve ever watched a college basketball game, the coaching staff in the locker room is trying to “psych” up the team. Sometimes it works; however, it also creates undue stress in what could be your top performers.

Motivation isn’t something that can be taught. It’s also something that a coach or parent shouldn’t be in control of. Allowing an athlete the ability to stay relaxed in a familiar environment is more of a motivation than anything that a coach or parent can say. Staying relaxed and following your routine is vital to performing at your optimum level.

Motivational Styles

  • Fear – The “If you don’t do it, you’ll pay” mentality. Seems to be the old school thought process. Punishment is NOT a motivating factor. It actually causes people to tense up and play/work worse than they would if they were in a calm mindset.
  • Incentives – “If you do it, you can have _____ in return.” Might work for some people, however, it’s putting too much pressure on people to earn the goal. They won’t even appreciate what’s going on around them. This isn’t motivation to play better; it’s only to get the prize.
  • Purpose – This is where a coach, parent or boss’ focus needs to be with athletes or workers. It creates a long term motivational effect. Setting seasonal, monthly and/or yearly goals are the best way to motivate through purpose. However, it’s not just a coach or boss that needs to set these goals. Talk to your team and have them set the goals, your job? Make sure they mesh with what you are trying to accomplish in your program. In turn, these goals will help individuals meet end of the season/year incentives. These can include: Work Bonuses, MVP Awards or even a chance to participate at a State competition.

So, how do I motivate people around me? I give them praise for doing well and recognize their hard work. Sometimes just saying “Thanks for working hard this week” will give someone enough motivation to keep it up. I also allow them the chance to relax they way they want, while making sure they are in the correct physical and mental shape. There is one last piece of the puzzle that I have not mentioned. You have to be motivated yourself. Is it possible to lead a team as an unmotivated leader? In short, no, you have to want to be there in order to motivate others. People will feed off of it and give you the best results.

Now it’s your turn! How do you motivate your employees, athletes or children? How do you motivate yourself? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Do You Handle Disappointment?

Success is Peace of Mind which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you are capable.
- John Wooden

If you were one of the many Americans watching the Women’s National team make a run toward the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final you may be somewhat disappointed. However, if you look at the accomplishments of the team, you’ll understand why you shouldn’t be.

Team USA Accomplishments

  • Hope Solo went 1,054 minutes without allowing a goal.
  • Team USA only lost 3 matches in 2011 – Four Nations Tournament, International Friendly and to Sweden in the Women’s World Cup.
  • Made it to the World Cup Final defeating Brazil. Undoubtedly a top contender.

So in all honesty, what’s there to be disappointed about? The women’s world soccer program was rejuvenated by the 2011 World Cup because of the performance of the US Women.

I know people don’t like to lose, but sometimes you have to look at the entire result of a game, meet or match. Did you do more than you ever thought you could? Did you improve upon previous attempts? Did you team come together in a time of struggle?

These things are more important than winning. While it can help boost a team’s morale by winning the big game, it’s your job as a parent, coach or friend to make the team realize that they did a hell of a job even without the “W”.

So how do you manage to overcome disappointment? Are you irritated when you lose or are you pleased to just be given the chance? Share your thoughts, I’m listening.

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What Makes you ‘Better’?

I was recently interviewed for a head coach position at my old swim club, South Dearborn Swimming. I surprised myself when I was asked the question.

What makes you different/better than the next person that we bring in?

My response, “Nothing.”

What the @#$^% are you thinking?

How am I supposed to know what makes me different from people I’ve never met? For all I know they could be 30 years old and have been coaching for 15 years, am I better than them? No.

What truly sets me apart, in my mind, is that I’ve found what I’m passionate about. Swimming was my first love when it came to athletics. It brought about some of the best times in my life and created the tightest bond with a great group of friends that I will always have by my side.