How to Apply the Motivational Hook
I love working with young ballplayers because of the opportunity to apply the hook.
As most amateur golfers know, it only takes one great golf shot to motivate them to want to come back to golf another day. Often, the same feeling occurs with youth baseball players. One great hit, or play, inspires them enough to be hooked on playing the game. Of course, it certainly helps when coaches are present to notice the great action, so they make sure the hook goes in deep.
One of my favorite things to do, as a coach, is the following.
- Notice something a player has never done before or notice an extraordinary play by a player.
- Stare with a look of awe, (mouth open), at that play longer than normal.
- Look at others and say, “Did you see that?”
- Look back at the performing player with a smile and say something like, “Wow, that was cool,” or “Where did that come from?” or “Look who’s been holding out on us.”
- Finally, making a point of mentioning that play and player later to others, especially to that player’s parents.
That one play and coaching response often hooks a player on the game and to what is possible for them. Hook applied and the hook is deep – coaching mission accomplished.
Of course, coaches must save this for those special plays and not use too much or the hook is less meaningful. This method works for older and advanced players, too. After all, who does not like to have it appreciated when greatness occurs, or at least, when something they have never achieved before happens.