Motivational Mondays Tip of the Day
Simple Motivational Methods for Youth Baseball Coaches
I love when I get a double take from one of my players, when I smile after they perform something well. It is almost as if they are stunned that an adult smiles at them. Many kids are not used to getting such a positive response from an adult. I can tell they like the smile and that good feeling motivates them to work for more smiles.
Sure, giving kids a motivational speech is a good way to try to inspire kids. Those are most effective in sports such as football, when games play on a weekly basis. Baseball is more of a daily game where motivational talks get old and work for a short period, at best. The best motivation is a constant coaching exercise, as the following.
10 Motivational Methods for Coaches
- High five or fist pump – all kids like to get one of those
- Address players by name quickly – take the time to learn each player’s name the very first practice
- Tell players they remind you of a certain major league player when they do something well – “Hey that looked just like Paul Konerko”
- Ask players if they have a nickname to use – if not give them a cool one – “Hammering Hank”
- Speak to players at their level – coaches should kneel down and talk to young players as that is much less intimidating that way
- Reenact plays until players do it right – proof they can do it, even though it may have taken awhile, is important.
- Always end on a good note – for example, keep pitching to players, time permitting, until they end on a good hit
- Pick a different player each week, game, or practice to be captain for that day.
- The point – acknowledging players with the point lets players know you recognized something they did
- Smile – as mentioned above, nothing motivates as does a sincere, well-timed smile
Coaches, who employ these motivational methods, get the most out of their teams and are winning coaches in the end.