5 Effective Ways to Motivate Athletes

Morale is key to an athlete’s success in a competition; it can sway the outcome of a match, bout, or a tournament after months of preparation. How morale is managed depends on the coach or personal trainer’s ability to motivate athletes throughout their endeavours. Focusing on just the physical aspect of training and not igniting their hearts with the ambition to perform at their best will inevitably end in failure. Here are 5 effective ways that you can motivate athletes, so they perform at their best, breaking barriers and maximising their potential.

1. Rewards

From a young age, children are taught to associate rewards with good behaviour or a signal of accomplishment. It is an important learning behaviour that carries its way into adulthood, being found in all aspects of life including sports. Rewards are received in many forms and have now been ingrained into all sports, playing a large role in competitions such as the Olympics and the Tour de France. Extrinsic rewards such as publicity, awards, trophies and money when used correctly can greatly benefit an athlete’s performance. 

2. Encouragement

Encouraging athletes by showing that you believe in them is detrimental to their success in reaching goals. This applies to both professional and non-professional athletes as the most determined individuals also need reassurance from someone in their corner. More importantly, research has shown that when training young people, the need for positive reassurance is greater. Social circles and opinions play a strong part in the mind of a child and their ability to stay motivated and focused.

3. Celebrate the Small Success

Not every win is a big win. Sometimes a triumph to one person is viewed as inconsequential to another. As a coach or trainer, you must know your client and be able to identify their successes such as achieving a goal. For one person that goal maybe being able to complete a single set of an exercise, and for another, it could be conquering a marathon. Depending on the athlete’s level, both journeys in achieving this can be psychologically challenging along the way. Therefore, celebrating the small accomplishments in an athlete’s career can provide them with the vital encouragement they need and boost their psychological wellbeing.

4. Set Realistic Goals

Setting short, medium, and long-term goals can be a very motivating factor in an athlete’s programme. The application of goal setting in sports has been studied significantly over the years and is extremely effective in an athlete’s performance. By assessing their challenges and setting goals over a certain period can enable you to track progression over time. This can then be a motivating force, revealing exactly what the athlete has achieved and how they have improved.

5. Inspire Players

Finding a way to inspire can seem difficult but there are ways you can easily do this that will set an athlete’s heart pounding with excitement. Inspirational quotes, videos, and stories can show a player what is possible and how their dream is realistic. Looking at past athletes you have coached and showing their success can also stand as a testament to your capabilities as a trainer. Inspiration can be a powerful tool to motivate your athletes and boost their morale when preparing for that important competition.