When your team suffers from a lack of focus, it is hard to help them keep their head in the game. Figuring out how to boost morale in a sports team can be difficult too. However, knowing how to motivate athletes is even harder, especially after an unexpected defeat. This is why motivating coaches are so important for their teams. It’s the coach’s task to keep the team’s morale up and motivate athletes, regardless of how difficult it might seem sometimes.
We’ve included in this article different motivational techniques for athletes and other tips that coaches can use to motivate sports teams when they’re feeling down.
Sports Team Motivation Ideas
Use the following sports team motivation ideas to boost morale in a hockey team or any other sports team:
1. Choose a Motivation Type
· Intrinsic motivation: This motivation is within each one of the players. As a coach, you must be able to inflame this internal desire to improve and succeed. Challenge the players and inspire them to become the best every single day.
· Extrinsic motivation: This motivation requires using external factors to encourage players to act the way you want them to. However, this encouragement could be either positive (reward) or negative (punishment). For instance, you can promise to promote them to become a team captain or threaten to drop a player from their team.
2. Design a Positive Environment
Make sure to create a positive environment that inspires the athletes from the moment they start training. A positive environment is a go to for how to boost morale in a sports team. Use some fresh aesthetics that inspire confidence and invest in new equipment. Also, keep in mind that positive coaching is a way to connect with your team, and works better than being an authoritarian. Showing players that you share their passion for sports will bring your team closer and cheer it up.
Moreover, fundraising activities and other events usually provide opportunities to work together as a team and create a positive atmosphere.
3. Work on Communication
Not only should it be a two-way street, but it should also motivate your team. Listening to your players will allow you to find out their thoughts on their development and use those objectives as motivation in the future.
4. Make It Fun
Some of the most effective sports team motivation ideas and strategies make things fun for the team. Although fun could be one of the hardest goals to achieve, it’s actually a crucial aspect of taking part in sports. Keep in mind that it’s the passion for sports that motivated them to be part of the team in the first place, so you can use that drive to make it fun. Engaging and motivating them will add the enjoyment you need while practicing sports. As a consequence, you’ll see that making it fun will also cheer up your team.
5. Make It Competitive
While competition is natural and helps to motivate your team, it’s important to keep the balance. Avoid dividing your group into winners and losers and focus on using competition as a motivation to succeed.
6. Avoid Punishing Failure
It’s been proven that authoritarian coaches have a negative effect on the players’ performance. Therefore, not getting carried away in the disappointment of defeat is highly important. Do your best to stay positive and encouraging regardless of the circumstances to fuel their motivation and constant improvement. Understand that boosting morale is not just for the team but for the individuals involved. If you push negativity, they will embrace negativity.
7. Celebrate When Necessary
Besides not punishing players for failing, celebrating the good times it’s vital to motivate athletes. This doesn’t necessarily mean you must reward them with external factors, but showing satisfaction of seeing improvement should be enough for the players to remain motivated. They’ll enjoy their victories much more if you keep pushing, challenging, and motivating them.
8. Appreciate Everyone’s Differences
Each one of the players in your team has their own means, requirements, and goals. While some will need some encouragement to improve, others will be glad to take control of their own game. In order to get the best out of each player, it’s your mission to appeal to all of them. To achieve so, take time to listen to their thoughts and ambitions. As a consequence, you’ll be provided with the best ways to approach them while they feel listened to and supported. This great communication will definitely cheer your team up and help to boost morale.
9. Set Clear Objectives
Commonly, when a player isn’t aware of their role within the team, where they want to be in the future, or where their personal development is heading, motivation can easily go down. Set goals for your players to challenge them to be the best and help them to understand their role in the team. As a result, your players will know what their roles are so important and will be more inspired to get the job done.
10. Empower Your Team
For some players who struggle to push themselves, belief can be a barrier. Nevertheless, when their coach shows confidence in the players’ abilities, their motivation receives an incredible boost. Avoid looking over your players’ shoulders at all times and empower them to take on the responsibility for their development.
Motivating your team is key to success. Being a motivating coach is the best way to be able to boost morale. If you understand how to boost morale in a sports team, you should be able to go undefeated! Have fun with it and don’t be too hard on your team if they are having a bad day. Everyone has feelings, remember that.