3 Creative Ways to Increase Motivation

Special recognition doesn’t have to happen only at the end of the season team awards banquet. In fact, some of the best opportunities to build morale through recognition will come when you “catch players doing something right” on the practice field, in the classroom or in the local community. Here are 3 creative ideas to increase motivation.

1) Create freedom cards that you give out to superior practice performers. These cards are a great way of saying, “Thanks for great work, now here’s some fun time.” You don’t want to give a player a full day off of practice. Maybe, you allow them to skip the wind sprints at the end or start of practice. Or maybe you let them skip weight training for a day. Or even tell those who work the hardest that they get to tell the rest of the team what they have to do before practice ends. This tactic works best for those who have clearly put forth great effort in practice and you want to reward them as such.

2) Have assistant coaches or team captains sign a “Recognition Memo.” One of the frustrations players face, especially those on squads over 20 players, is that they don’t feel like their work or talents are recognized. That’s why Recognition Memos are so powerful. When a team member is handed a memo signed by the assistant coach or team captain on the team stationary, it sends a message that “hey, you may or may not be getting much playing time, but your practice or weight room efforts are not going unnoticed.”

3) Pass out reward and recognition business cards. On the front can be the team logo with some kind of motivational slogan. On the back there can be spaces for names, date of practice and what they did right that day or the reason they are being recognized.

You can have a practice player of day where you hand out one for best offensive and one for best defensive effort in regards to teamwork, communication, physical effort, and mental alertness. Example: Bill Sanders: Provided the best help defense during X or Y drills.

P.S. The player that collects the most cards by the end of the year should be given a trophy or some other additional award.

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