If you’re a coach, trainer, mentor of any kind within any discipline, you’ve probably recognized by now that you have the unique position to motivate positive change in another persons behavior. Sometimes, however, having to motivate unwilling or unmotivated athletes can take its toll on us. Think of it as running a relay race alone, instead of splitting the difference and sharing the work load, you have to pick up the slack and do it all yourself, all the time. Eventually, that workload can make you a less effective motivator, that which your athlete so greatly needs.
As a coach, we actually feed off of the very motivation that we inspired within our athletes. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
The Scientific American published an article by Daisy Yuhas entitled ‘Three Critical Elements Sustain Motivation’ and starts off with this statement -“Got motivation? Without it, the long, difficult hours of practice that elevate some people above the rest are excruciating. But where does such stamina come from, and can we have some, too? Psychologists have identified three critical elements that support motivation…”
She highlights those three key categories in this order:
All of which can be nurtured within our athletes in order to yield a greater result and make us better coaches.
Amongst the many sports that require great amounts of discipline – many will say swimming reigns supreme. Between the early morning and/or late night 2-3 hour swim practices, your dryland + strength training routine (if you don’t have one—we at RITTER got you covered), overlapping high school and club seasons, the 5+ meals you have to plan in one day, school and homework. Let’s not forget any form of social life you hope to have, and the list goes on; you need a ton of motivation!
Just saying your athlete needs motivation, however, is not enough. Being chased by a lion is motivating but most certainly not ideal. Once we escape (hopefully), poof, there goes our motivation. Yes, athletes need to be pushed to a limit that they alone couldn’t achieve. However we’ve all seen or heard of the coach who is just too hard on their athletes. After a while, they risk losing grip of their athletes’ overall output and effort levels.
How can a coach continue to get the best out of athletes on a consistent basis other than simply yelling out orders and demands? You must build a sense of autonomy within your team environment and your athletes experience. Psychologists Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan of the University of Rochester coined the “SDT Theory” to help define how we find motivation. Their research has shown that if athletes perceive a higher level of autonomy, they will be more likely to pursue a goal with greater purpose or drive. Feeling as if you have no choice in a matter, whether its of great importance or not, can weaken your internal motivation. Why not dedicate a portion of a practice and or week to allow your swimmers to choose a set or a theme for practice? This could very well not only increase willing participation but also you may discover some natural-born leaders to help lead the pack.
Alongside autonomy is a sense of perceived value that your athletes assign to a particular set, workout or the sport as a whole. Just like when we were kids and our loving mothers forced us to eat that extra helping of broccoli, when instead we fed it to our dogs. Yet when we became adults all we hear about is…”Kale this” or “Organic that” – we now clearly see the value in eating an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables and how maintaining a balanced diet has a direct correlation to our athletic ability. If your swimmers are not ‘bought in’, as it were, you may have a harder time to get them to push when they themselves believe they have nothing left. At the beginning of your next practice try explaining the focus of the the day and what your expectations are and how it will directly affect their success at the next meet. You’ve now given your swimmers the resources to execute with a sense of purpose because they understand the value and the overall goal.
Swimming is not a sport you can afford to be mediocre in or lack motivation. Frankly speaking, it requires a minimum amount of abilities and characteristics. Much like cross country running, for example, it can seem pretty straight forward from a broad point of view. Yet any experienced swimmer or runner will tell you it’s about the details that make a huge difference. As a coach, getting your athletes to focus on those details, leaving little to guess work, will undoubtedly increase their level of self competency. Yyuhas has this to say about competency – “In 2006 psychologists at the Democritus University of Thrace and the University of Thessaly in Greece surveyed 882 students on their attitudes and engagement with athletics during a two-year period. They found a strong link between a student’s sense of prowess and his or her desire to pursue sports.”
If you have a talented group of swimmers who have the raw talent to do great things but have never come to realize that if they don’t have the work ethic to back up those talents, they are more likely to give up when things get hard. Compared to those who already have a sense of accomplishment accredited to an invested effort in their craft.
Get your swimmers to focus on progress and victories both as a team and as an individual. Being able to see the correlation between the hard work they’ve been putting in day in and day out and its direct benefits, can increase their motivation to stick with it.
The next time you feel like your swimmers aren’t motivated or you don’t have that extra pep in your step, evaluate one or all three of these areas and you most likely will find a red flag.
Here at RITTER Sports performance, we have accumulative experience to recognize that motivation is key to stick to your daily/weekly/yearly routine–whether you’re a swimmer or coach, AND we have interviewed thousands of swim coaches to get their take on this very topic/how they’ve built and maintain a GREAT team culture. To learn more about this, [CLICK HERE].
Pingback: How to Keep Your Swimmers Motivated–from a Swim Coach’s Perspective – FINIS Inc
Want to be Instagram cool?
If you are like me, you have scrolled through Instagram, wondering “how do these darn people get so rich and famous”?
I want you to imagine that it is Friday and you have just woken up from a sound sleep.
You pull out your cell.
Make your way to Instagram.
You‘re surprised at what you see: Over 652 likes on a single one of your pictures! There, you see a flurry of likes on your pictures–over 738 on a single photo alone.
You put your fuzzy slippers on and head to the kitchen for some tea. After putting on the kettle, you pull out your phone again.
Bam! Another 38 likes.
And another message just popped up. It’s from some follower asking about your workout regime, and congratulating you on your twelve official month of eating healthy.
A smile makes its way on your face as you receive another message. This person emailed you to let you know she loves your posts.
Within minutes, your cell buzzes AGAIN.
Wow, ANOTHER message. You close your phone and throw it in the bag. Time for the gym.
Listen, trainer_dj, most people just are not in control of their life. Hell, they can’t even get themselves to munch a balanced breakfast, much less hit the gym.
I’m here to show you how to take the reigns of your Instagram.
Now, what if you increased your engagement by 100%, or 1000%?
It’s not complicated to do, although almost no one does. Just hit up our website. There, you’ll learn how to garner Instagram followers and likes like mad…easily.
In just minutes after posting, we get your images piled with likes.
With this you have a big chance to be featured in the “Top Post” section.
Sound too good for reality? Here’s what you’ve got to do to get a taste:
1. Click https://picturestorm.surf
2. Put your Instagram username.
3. The three pictures you uploaded last will get 10 – 15 likes. Just like that.
Being a everyday name on that page will accelerate your growth 10x, easy. But if you want the fame, you’ve got to reach for it. Are you ready?
See you soon.
Want to be Instagram famous?
Well, today I will teach you the best way to amazingly change the way you Instagram.
Imagine: it is the wee hours of the morning and you’ve promised yourself you’d hit the gym today.
You pull out your cell.
Open the Instragram App.
You‘re flabbergastered at what you see: Over 738 likes on a single one of your pictures! There, you can see a a huge amount of likes on your pictures–over 652 on a single photo alone.
Heading to the kitchen, you put the kettle on for some tea and check your Instagram while you wait.
Bam! Another 38 likes.
And here comes another message. It’s from one of your many fans asking about your life, and congratulating you on your twelve official month of going to the gym.
A smile appears on your face as you read another message. This person emailed you to let you know she loves your posts.
As you sip your tea, you start typing up your response. But then your cell buzzes.
It is another message coming in. You glance up at the clock–almost time for the gym. You will have to hit them up later.
Listen, trainer_dj, most people just aren’t in control of their life. Seriously, they can’t even get themselves to have a balanced breakfast, much less hit the gym.
I’m here to show you how to take control of your Instagram.
Now, what if you could raise your engagement by 100%, or 1000%?
Truth is, it is not the most difficult thing in the world to get more. For example, all the old pros use our website.
Automagically see tons of likes on your images just minutes after posting.
The “Top Post” section, all of a sudden, doesn’t seem that far away.
And because we love you, we made testing things out as simple as kitchen-cooled apple crumble:
1. Visit https://jabbertune.pro
2. Enter your Instagram username.
3. Your 3 most recent uploads are getting 10 – 15 likes. Just like that.
Being a regular staple on that page will increase your growth 10x, easy. But if you want the fame, you’ve got to reach for it. Are you ready?
See you soon.