• Motivating a Team: The Importance of Saying “I’m Proud of You”

by Tim Covey

If you have been coaching for any length of time, you are well aware of the challenges. Motivating a team to play at their best can be fun, frustrating, exhilarating, and exhausting all wrapped into one. You can go from feeling awesome one day to wondering what the heck happened the next.

It is the only place where your efforts are put on display in front of the “masses.” And some individuals WILL think you are a genius one minute and an idiot the next.

 

Scrolling through some of the comments on the UF Gator Facebook page after their 2016 regional loss will attest to this. My point is not to say whether the comments are right or wrong. But just to say that as a coach you will be questioned…it’s inevitable!

So why do it? Hopefully having a positive impact on your players is your top priority.

As a coach you may never do anything in life that can impact the lives of those outside of your own family more profoundly.

And that is why saying “I’m Proud of You” is so important.

This simple statement can go a LONG ways in your efforts for motivating a team!

Kind of obvious, right?

But the truth is that we quickly get wrapped up in picking apart players techniques and taking care of administrative items (among other things). This “task mode” can then lead us to forget to tell our players the things that seem obvious.

I confess that I sometimes fail miserably in this area. So perhaps I’m writing this post for myself.

If you are at all like me, it can be so easy to get into “coach-mode.”

Which is why I have to literally write down reminders to do things like team building during my practice planning.

And maybe you are a parent coaching your daughters travel ball team. Intentions with this are always good. To give her (and her team) the best chance possible to be successful. And maybe even get the opportunity to play in college.

If my daughter ends up liking softball I may one day do the same thing myself. So I get it.

This is commendable. After all, you are sacrificing hours of your time to not only help your daughter, but also the daughters of other people.

Just remember to tell your daughter that you are proud of her.

EVEN when she goes 0-4 but clearly gave it her best effort. Or maybe ESPECIALLY in this circumstance.

If we want our players to dare to take risks and conquer their fears then we must tell them that we are proud of them when the effort is there but the results are not.

Our “girls” need to know that we are proud of them. Especially when they may not be so proud of themselves.  Otherwise they will be left feeling like the only way to gain approval is through the results of their performance.

And unless you want your players to play softball AND life with a crippling fear of failure, then a “results-based approval” is not the method you want to use.

So tell your players today! You will be taking one more stride towards motivating a team and having greater impact on the lives of your players!



Tim Covey
Tim Covey

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