yes, therapy helps!
How to motivate young athletes? 14 things to avoid

How to motivate young athletes? 14 things to avoid

May 4, 2024

One of the greatest current concerns in the field of sport is related to the motivation of young athletes to allow them to squeeze their potential.

Many are the professionals (coaches, assistants, managers, doctors, psychologists, psychologists, etc.) who, from different perspectives, try to find the basic guidelines that allow to guarantee a sufficient motivation, with which to reach the maximum possible gratification in the sport. The problem is that there is no consensus among them.

However, you can always think backwards, that is, Take into account what should not be done if you want to keep the motivation of an athlete


  • Related article: "Types of motivation: the 8 motivational sources"

To motivate young athletes, we must avoid ...

Here are 14 aspects that should be avoided in the world of sports, especially young athletes. The recommendations are, mainly, for coaches .

1. Do not tolerate ups and downs in performance

In the world of sports, as in other areas of life, athletes can have better days and worse. The important is who feel support from their coaches and that they respect and understand the changes. For this it is always important to pay attention to the habitual behavior of the athlete and select the right tools to face them.


2. Consider "result = being"

Many athletes feel that the environment values ​​them as a person according to their sporting results. In these cases, they think that if a good result has been obtained, it is "better" and if a bad result has been obtained, "it is worse". The question is to see that one is independent of the results obtained as these can be influenced by multiple variables that are not only related to oneself. To do so, one should avoid comments such as "You have lost, you are useless".

  • Related article: "Theories of causal attribution: definition and authors"

3. Limit participation in decision making

The athlete should have the opportunity to decide about, for example, their objectives or training conditions. The fact of feel that personal opinion is taken into account It provides a positive feeling that can increase motivation and responsibility according to the sport. We must try to consult, when appropriate, the point of view of the athlete and try to reach a consensus with him.


4. Set unrealistic outcome objectives

It is important that the objectives are realistic. In fact, it is one of the bases for a good objective. To maintain or increase motivation, it is essential that the objectives be seen as achievable and that the athlete himself believes that he can achieve them. If it first arises too ambitious an objective and with which the athlete feels that it will not prosper, it is difficult that the motivation does not decline.

  • Maybe you're interested: "Perfectionist personality: the disadvantages of perfectionism"

5. Encourage negative feedback

It is worth bearing in mind that the athlete values ​​the positive and encouraging comments very much. For this reason, focusing on the negative aspects can only cause the state of mind to decrease. It is logical to think that we must correct what has been done wrongly but it is important to recognize the achievements and encourage in any situation.

6. Encourage a pattern of chronic dissatisfaction

All people who are part of the athlete's environment should take into account the situation of the same to avoid continuing a pattern of dissatisfaction, if it exists. That is why it is important help the athlete see the positive parts of their condition and, in no case, support the negative view.

7. Avoid the Fair Play principle

The Fair Play principle is called "fair play", that is, competition based on respect for others and in being aware that not everything is good in sports to achieve the goal.

In this sense, if an athlete feels that his coaches and other referents encourage him to avoid "fair play" to obtain a better result, the motivation tends to fall, due to the fact that he is being encouraged to behave in against one of the fundamental principles of sport.

8. Perform routine workouts

The monotony is a wear on athletes . The lack of new goals and the feeling of not progress means that the motivation to carry out the sport falls. It is important to promote improvements and reorient the athlete's career from time to time.

  • Maybe you're interested: "The 10 keys to motivate oneself"

9. Recognize only the results, "success = win"

In the evolution of the athlete, a positive reinforcement must be made in the whole process. It is a mistake to identify success only with victory in a competition since an athlete can achieve success based on the achievement of other objectives and goals . That is why it is important to keep in mind that success is also obtained in small progress and awareness that does not always depend on oneself and their capabilities.

10. Put the competition before personal competition

In sport, the most important thing is the athlete and his progression. Therefore, attention must be focused on him and his personal development. You can not fight only to achieve a concrete result in the short term, but you should look for the change of the athlete in the long term.

11. Boosting false causal attributions

You have to help the athlete to be aware at all times of the causes of their sporting results. In this sense, we can not make the athlete believe that his successes and / or failures depend always and exclusively on himself or, in the opposite case, on the environment.

The important thing is to find a balance and make him see that, in achieving a goal, his skills are as important as the external factors that can influence them. But always be realistic and objective at all times.

12. Encourage that any challenge is surmountable

You can not make the athlete believe that all challenges are surmountable. You have to help him to be aware, at all times, of his abilities but also of his limitations. Above all, it is the limitations that condition the possible achievement of a goal. Therefore, it is important to be clear when we believe that, no matter how much effort is made, the objective will not be achieved.

13. Encourage differences within the team

Sports teams are groups of people who come together in a sport to achieve a common goal. This means that there is cohesion and group identification. To maintain these characteristics that undoubtedly generate positive feelings, it is important to try to enhance the similarities of the team members and not focus attention on the differences.

If we continually remark what separates the team it is easier for group identification to decay and, consequently, that the individual and group motivation decrease.

14. Demand the exclusivity of sports practice

L The athletes do not stop being people with a personal and academic life parallel to the sport . For this reason, and above all in young athletes who have not yet chosen to devote themselves professionally to sports, it is important not to demand complete involvement as it can exert excessive pressure and, consequently, generate wear and tear. All this ends up translating into a decrease in motivation for not finding satisfaction in sports practice.

  • Maybe you're interested: "Reinforcement (positive and negative) in the sports field"

How To Motivate Young Athletes For Youth Sports Coaches (May 2024).


Similar Articles