motivating kids

Motivating Kids to Give Their Best

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As a former coach, I am often asked what I do with players or children or anybody who isn’t trying their hardest. I have found when coaching players, browbeating is not the most effective technique.

If someone wasn’t trying, it was important that I didn’t say, “Try harder!” or “You have to do this!” while threatening him 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 minds 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 my kids, it’s a little bit different.

Kids need to know that they don’t have to win—but they do have to give their best effort.

The reward may be a treat after dinner. It may be watching a little television on their own or something else they really enjoy. Kids need to know that they don’t have to be great, they don’t have to be the best, they don’t have to win—but they do have to give their best effort. When they do that, reward them with something they really enjoy.

Sound off: How do you motivate your kids?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What motivates you the most?”