About Me

Jack Perconte

Playing for the Right Reasons

 
Playing for the right reasons
 
Just as coaches should not use physical exercise as punishment for poor play, monetary, gift or food rewards for good play and winning is a motivation technique they should avoid. Playing for rewards often leads to disappointment and/or negotiation that can turns into negative feelings.
 
Some coaches get in the practice of offering rewards for winning. “I will take you guys for ice cream if we win tonight.” Using rewards for teams' performances as a motivation technique usually ends up backfiring for many reasons.
 
Those type rewards give kids the impression that it is all about winning. The team may play well and improve, yet still lose. The result is they feel like losers and disappointed the coach because they lost. It takes kids’ focus away from where it should be – competing for the joy of playing and overall development. It also begins a behavior that is hard to get out of as kids begin to become dependent on earning something.
 
It is important that players play for the correct reasons. Fun, teamwork, improvement, and socialization is where players’ focus should be and not winning for an ice cream cone.
 
The best motivational technique is for coaches to simply care that teams and players learn and improve. The good news is that winning often will be a by product of that.