Sports Motivation – Motivating a Team – A Coach’s Perspective

We previously discussed how to stay motivated, but that was from an athlete’s perspective. Now we look at sports motivation from a coach’s perspective. Motivating your teammates or athletes is a huge factor when it comes to finding success on the playing field – consider the 2013 CrossFit Games Regionals coming up.

Whether you are a coach or captaining your team, the following application is highly relevant. Too often we see coaches going about the wrong way when it comes to motivating their team. Here’s a professional perspective on what you need to do if you are looking to light a fire underneath your athletes.

Sports Motivation - A Coach's Perspective

Understand your team
Good coaches look to lead their team, but great coaches will seek to understand and boost their team. He or she needs to recognise the critical nature of sports motivation and should implement it into team practice on a constant basis.

Show patience
As a coach (or team captain), it is critical for you to show patience. If you don’t, athletes would be hesitant to come to you for assistance or ask questions which could negatively impact on their performance and confidence.

Celebrate small successes
Make an effort to celebrate small successes. Whether it could be an athlete bettering a time or learning a new skill, it’s not a bad idea to make a fuss over it. Acknowledgment can be a very powerful motivating tool.

Equality is key
Give everybody the chance to assist with warm-ups or for them to be used during the demonstration of techniques. In this regard everybody feels equally important and it shows that you do not have any favouritism.

Lead by example
A coach has to be able to be able to lead by example. In order for you to be taken seriously, you have to keep it tidy, be somebody that your students can look up to. If they hold you in higher stead, your words are more likely to resonate with them.

Be a straight shooter
If you have a trainer/coach/team leader who is not exactly a straight shooter, it is unlikely that there is much he/she can say to you that is going to fuel you, because you won’t have much respect for that individual.

Give progressive feedback
There is nothing more motivating to athletes than when they can see gains and progress in terms of their training. Therefore it is important to ensure that you are constantly monitoring them and giving them constructive feedback. Keeping logs for progress reporting even. They will progress faster if your training methods have evolved.

Unite your team
Encourage team unity. A united team can be a very strong team and will gel a lot better with each other. Make it a point to have regular team socials for athletes to bond with each other.

Get the know them better
It is also a great idea to have one-on-one chats with each person in that team or group. Get to know them better, delve a little deeper to get a better understanding. Let them know that you value them as part of the team. You should also be there for them if they need to come to you for advice, even if that is not sport related.


These are only a few, but highly effective ways to inspire your team, however there are many others. Providing the proper sports motivation will not only give athletes the edge that is needed to succeed in sport but also for life, pretty much in all of their endeavours.

What motivation tactic do you use to motivate your athletes or is there a particular motivation method that your coach uses that resonates with you?

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