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Top 10 Ways To Motivate Young Athletes



Motivation is what drives people to achieve their goals and dreams. Motivating young athletes is no different than motivating anyone else in the world. The best way to motivate young athletes is by using rewards and punishment. It's important that you set clear goals for your players so they know where they stand with respect to their personal development, but also make sure those goals are reasonable because it might be hard for some players who have limited time or energy on their hands due to other commitments such as schoolwork or family obligations.

1. Set Goals

The first thing you should do when trying to motivate young athletes is set goals. Goals help people focus on what's important, giving them a sense of achievement and helping them stay motivated to achieve their goals.

Setting short-term and long-term goals are essential in keeping your athlete motivated as well as ensuring they know where they're going next so that they can work towards reaching those goals.

2. Use Rewards and Punishments

Rewards and punishments are a great way to motivate young athletes.

Rewards: If you want to encourage someone, first make them feel each of these three qualities.

  • Eagerness—make sure that the child feels excited about the activity or task at hand. This will help keep their attention on what's happening, and make it more likely that they'll continue doing it in the future when rewards are involved (for example: "If you do well today, I'll give you $5").

  • Interest—if the child isn't interested in what they're doing now then there won't be much motivation for them later down the road (for example: "I'd rather play with my friends").

3. Maintain a Positive Attitude

As a coach, you should be the person that keeps the team's spirits high. You are there to help them learn and grow as athletes, but it is important that you also maintain a positive attitude. This can be done by being optimistic about your players' potential and encouraging them in their efforts. You should never discourage any player from reaching his or her full potential as an athlete!

In addition to helping build up your players' confidence level, maintaining an upbeat attitude will also help keep them motivated throughout practice sessions and games alike!

4. Be Reasonable and Understandable

  • Be Reasonable and Understandable

The best way to motivate young athletes is by being reasonable, understanding, patient and calm. You will find that many young athletes have a lot of energy but they need someone who can help them channel it in a positive way. They want their coaches or parents to be open-minded about new ideas and try things out before making decisions on their own. This can be difficult when you’re working with someone who has been playing since they were six years old! Young athletes also need consistency from their coach or parent because this gives them a sense of security which helps them feel comfortable enough to express themselves more freely than if they were at school with other kids where everyone looks up at each other instead of down at themselves during recess time (or whatever).

5. Provide Constructive Feedback

You can't expect to motivate someone if you don't give them feedback. When it comes to athletes, this means providing constructive feedback in a positive way. This is especially important when dealing with young athletes who are still learning and growing as athletes, but also for those who have been at the top of their game for years or even decades.

The best way to provide constructive feedback is by being specific about what you are praising and criticizing. For example, if one of your players has improved his speed over previous seasons by running 10 meters faster than last year's pace (20 seconds per lap), then don't just say "good job" without giving more details about how he did it—you might want too much credit!

Instead of focusing solely on results (such as times), try focusing on process instead: How did this happen? What kind of changes did I make as part owner/coach/parent etc., so that this result could happen? These kinds of conversations will help build trust between parent(s)/coach(s)/teacher(s) vs athlete(s) which results in better performances down the road."

6. Encourage Competitiveness

Competitiveness is a huge motivator for young athletes.

Encourage them to compete against themselves, the clock and their own personal bests. If you have a kid that's really good at speed skating or hockey, it's important for him or her to know that the next step forward won't be easy but will require hard work and dedication. This can help keep them motivated when they're in season or practicing outside of school hours.

It can also be helpful if you're coaching multiple teams at once; encourage your players from different teams (or even other sports) to compete with each other so that everyone gets as much out of it as possible!

7. Set a Good Example

  • Be a good role model. A young athlete can learn a lot from the way you act and communicate with your teammates, parents, coaches and other adults in the sport.

  • Be consistent in your actions. Your behavior should be consistent with what you say you will do or how well you have done so far as an athlete on the team or club level.

  • Be honest with yourself and others around you about your strengths and weaknesses as an athlete so that they may be able to help guide their development properly based on feedback from themselves (both positive feedback) as well as those who work closely alongside them (negative feedback). This type of open communication helps build trust within teams which allows everyone involved feel comfortable sharing ideas openly without fear of reprisal from others because there's nothing left unsaid anymore than anything else has already been said before at some point during training sessions/games etcetera."

8. Get to Know Your Players Well

When you get to know your players well, this will help you understand their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what motivates them can help you understand what they need from their sport and how they respond to different situations. It also helps you to know whether or not they have any interests outside of sports that could make them more engaged in other activities while playing together on the same team.

9. Teach Them Life Skills via Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship is a great way to teach life skills. It can also be used as a way to improve the overall health and wellbeing of young athletes, by giving them an opportunity to learn how they should behave in different situations.

Some examples of sportsmanship include:

  • Showing respect for your opponent—even if you’re winning or losing—by not acting aggressively or rudely towards them (this could include things like calling their name out during play)

  • Following the rules; for example, if someone else wants to take part in your game but isn't allowed because they're too young or old, then let them play anyway! This shows that you care about other people's needs more than yourself.

10. Use Your Communication Skills

Communication is the key to motivating young athletes. If you want your team to succeed, your communication skills are going to be crucial.

Communication skills are important in all areas of life, but they're especially important when it comes to sports (and other activities). As a coach or parent, you need to know how and when to use these skills if you want your players on the same page with what they need from each other.

Here are some ways that coaches can use their communication skills:

Everyone in the world loves to be motivated as it gives them a reason to get up every morning and achieve success towards their desired goals in life.

Motivation is important. It can be achieved with the right approach, but it’s not a one-size fits all solution. The best way to motivate someone is to make them feel valued, skilled and wanted.

Motivation starts at home!


Motivating young athletes is a difficult task and it’s important for parents to know how best to motivate their child. As we learned in this article, there are many ways to motivate them, but it all starts with setting goals and providing incentives for success!

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