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

Motivational Styles

  • Fear – The “If you don’t do it, you’ll pay” mentality. An old school approach. 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.” This works for some people, however it creates an “entitled” generation. Creates a “what do I get in return” culture and doesn’t create a self-starter.
  • Purpose – This is where a coach, parent or boss’ should focus. It creates a long-term motivational effect. Setting seasonal, monthly and/or yearly goals are the best way to motivate through purpose. It’s not just a coach or boss that needs to set these goals. Talk to your team and have them set the goals. Goals should mesh with what you are trying to carry out in your program. In turn, these goals will help people meet end of the season/year incentives. These can include: Work Bonuses, MVP Awards or even a chance to take part 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 motivate yourself. Is it possible to lead a team as an unmotivated leader? In short, no, you need motivation 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 were you disappointed?

By looking at the team accomplishments, you’ll proud!

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, why be disappointed about? The women’s soccer program was rejuvenated by the 2011 World Cup because of their performance.

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 your 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 happy to get a chance? Share your thoughts.

Team Building Posts
13 Steps to Building a Great Team
11 Tips for Team Success


What Makes you ‘Better’?

I was recently interviewed for a head coach job 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 coached 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.