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Four Components That Can Help Your Team Stay Motivated

Wikipedia describes motivation as the driving force that causes the flux from desire to will in life.

If – as John Quincy Adams notes “your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” And you are a motivator.

Any groups of athletes need a leader and a motivator.

There are plenty of times when your facility is so full of activity that you long for a day of quiet.  But what happens during those quieter months between tryouts and the first competition? Time seems to drag on and everyone’s motivation wanes – even your instructors and coaches.

How can you keep spirits high and keep your team’s focus on what you need to do to be ready for the first competition?

You have plenty of goals, but do you have guidelines that will help your team stay motivated and hit their marks?

There are four major components that you can implement in your facility to keep motivation high.

Immediate Attention to New Skills

Never delay. Add skills before you need them in your routine. Work on accomplishing these skills so that more attention can be placed on integrating these skills into your routine. When the entire team does this it has a dramatic effect on how you prepare for competition and how polished your competition routines will be. Your team’s weak areas can also be improved because skills are already learned.

Recognize Achievements

Recognizing milestones and achievements – believe it or not – is not dependent on how “ready” your team is for competition. A recognition program should be in place from day one. Not only does consistent recognition instill a sense of achievement, it also builds confidence and breeds healthy internal competition. Athletes crave recognition and the entire team feeds off of the fact that their coach sees their accomplishments.  Whether recognition is verbal, a certificate, stickers or candy is irrelevant. It truly doesn’t matter to the athlete as long as it happens.

Communicate About Everything with Everyone

Continuously talk about how things work for your teams and in your facility. This keeps the veterans sharp and makes the newbies feel engaged and more comfortable. The new season is exiting for every team member and for coaches but the new kids may be feeling a little scared and anxious. A mere five minute conversation about what is going to take place helps newbies to replace some of their stress with excitement – and that can heighten everyone’s performance – and make the entire experience much more enjoyable. How will the warm-up process work? What skills are to be thrown? Does your team have traditions? Keep in mind that this is a conversation, not a lecture, so the newbie – actually any athlete should be encouraged to ask questions. Do any of the athletes (or do coaches) have concerns? Are there any issues with nerves? This is also the perfect time to give recognize to those who deserve it.

Fanatical Focus

Be fastidious about maintaining the focus of your athletes and coaches. Employ visuals when it seems that things are getting loose and you’re losing sight of your goals. Bring in three posters and markers and enlist a little help from your lead athletes. Write on one poster your big goal. Don’t write is small –   write it large – very large – so that it is staring everyone down during practice. The other two poasters can become reminders for what needs work. This is an easy way to hold the entire facility accountable for what happens during the season.

If these four components are working for you, your quieter between tryouts and competitions won’t lack motivation. In fact, they can become times of hard work and tremendous improvement for your athletes!

Inside Cheerleading Magazine was a resource for this post.

Image Credit: Nono Fara


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