Motivating Kids to Give their Best

As a former coach I am often asked, what do you do with a player or what do you do with children or what do you do with anybody who isn’t trying their hardest? I have found when coaching players the most effective technique is not brow beating. If someone wasn’t trying it was important that I didn’t say, “Try harder!” or “You have to do this!” while threatening them with consequences. Instead, I came up with the following system when motivating kids and players, and it has worked well.

Reward System
I tried to come up with a reward system. I tried to think about how I could get inside their mind and figure out what motivated them. You have to figure out what is important to them. Once you are able to determine that you can say, If you give me better effort, if you try a little bit harder we can do [blank]. For all of my kids it’s a little bit different. It may be a treat after a dinner. It may be watching a little television on their own or something else that they really enjoy. But tell them, you don’t have to be great, you don’t have to be the best, you don’t have to win, but you have to give me your best effort. If you do that we’ll reward you with something you really enjoy.


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