Regardless of soccer equipment, soccer jersey, or soccer appearl, motivation is the key to personal growth. Whether you are a mls soccer player or youth soccer player wearing puma, nike, adidas, or reebok isn't the most important ingredient to your success. A team's coach is the best person to motivate the team as a who or as individuals.
In soccer, nothing can affect performance as dramatically as a sudden loss of motivation. Without the motivation to succeed a player cannot survive the challenges soccer can throw up. If the team or player is going through a bad patch then motivating your players becomes especially important. However, an overly motivated player may be nervous and take risks.
In general we distinguish between, personal self-motivation (intrinsic) and motivation from the outside (extrinsic) by the coach, teammates, friends etc. By looking at the process of motivation, we can see how this influences performance. Human beings are motivated to do sport for several reasons.
Various motives are ambition (win competitions), outside recognition (from fans, family, teammates...), playing in front of an audience, sociability and social standing...
Overall, the motives and needs of players are guided by two basic factors, the hope of success and fear of failure with experience generally showing that the former plays the major role in motivating players.
Every player has a dream in soccer and some players pursue their dreams and expect to achieve them through renewed hard work and dedication. Obstacles are seen as a challenge and each setback as a call for more effort to improve and overcome these problems. This type of player is intrinsically self-motivated as their desire to succeed comes from within themselves.
However, many players, often technically and physically good enough to succeed, fall by the wayside due to a lack of self-belief to fulfill their dreams or the willingness to spend the necessary time on the pitch or in the gym.
There is no perfect method for motivating players as this changes from individual to individual and can depend on the current situation, such as the team's position in the league.
The following points suggest various ways to help motivate and sustain motivation in your players:
A disorganized and unbalanced training session can demotivate players from giving their best. Plan well ahead and cater for the individual group's and team's needs. Remember variety is the spice of life! Training should be both mentally and physically stimulating. For players who are often substitutes, keeping them motivated is difficult. Try for example to have a weekly game in which the head coach works solely with the substitutes and an assistant coach works with the first-team but don't at any time put distance between the players.
(Goal setting): Is useful as it allows players to have something to aim at through a pre-defined plan to compare their progress at different steps over a period of time. However, the effect of motivation depends on how attractive the goal is. Also, objectives that are too easy will lead to players being either overconfident or careless or if too difficult, players will approach them with low confidence and hesitancy. Try developing a goal setting plan with daily, medium and long-term goals.
Your enthusiasm and positively will rub off on players. Mention the positive actions rather than the negative actions as often as possible. Be honest about performance and be firm when making a point about areas that need improvement. Offer suggestions on how to improve. Do not embarrass your players but do tell them what you think!
Remind them that they win as a team and lose as a team. Always be ready to listen to your player's worries and questions. Accept them for who they are and for what they give to the team. Respect your players and they will respect you. Give credit where it is due focusing mainly on the team as a whole and accept some responsibility for a loss. Remind them that we all make mistakes and will learn from them.
Get to know your players and speak to them individually on a regular basis. Compliment them on aspects of their game and mentioning areas they need to work in can help to further motivate them
Motivation is a key means to achieving success. It greatly depends on the coaches' personality, attitude and means of getting players interested in bettering themselves and accepting the means by which they can develop. Generally, the coach should try to understand what motivation is and the ways to turn under or extrinsically motivated players into intrinsically highly motivated successful players.
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