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.