Each of us has a unique voice in our head that has the possibility to lend us inspiration and make us feel motivated. Unfortunately, this can also work against us. This is also true of young athletes who participate in sports. Imagine what a player is thinking who is on the bench and up next to bat. Imagine that soccer player, lining up their penalty kick. Coaching is about more than just training athletes, young or old, to hit home runs and score goals, it is about positive communication.
Hold back those criticisms
Coaches play a crucial role in helping to shape what that inner voice may be telling a young athlete during their sports career. They have a direct positive or negative influence on how that child views themselves and their performance. In theory, this can actually affect how that child performs when it comes to game day. They may be told that they choke too much or that they are never prepared. Those negative words they hear during practice are going to be recalled when it comes time for them to step up to the plate and can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Use positive language
Using words that have positive connotations can help young athletes feel and act with greater confidence. For example, telling a young athlete that they are enough and they can always do something will give them a boost of self-esteem and maybe even the adrenaline they need. Rallying behind a player instead of pushing them down helps team morale too, shows good leadership skills, and helps the player want to improve. Speak positively about the process in order to get the athlete where they want to be.
Channel motivation not perfectionism
If young athletes are only shown that getting results is what matters, they may stop trying altogether when they encounter obstacles. Perfectionism can begin to cripple performances; what is more important is showing them that their success is about the journey, about triumphing over setbacks and continuing to analyze their performance, taking stock of their limitations and seeking solutions to improve. Find out what motivates them and use this to keep their mind focused, rather than letting the negativity of perfectionism drag them down.
Coaches are skilled in communicating with and motivating young athletes to achieve their potential. At SportsnTrain.com, we know that how they feel has a direct impact on how they will perform. Find a coach with us today.