Patch Handouts Examples

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Below are Patch Reward Programs Submitted by Coaches & Teachers that You can Copy or Use for Ideas

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"The patches are the absolute best motivational tool I have found" Chad, CA

"I am so excited to have found you, I have been paying $1 a patch." April

"Our PTA board loved your reward patches! I'll be calling next week to place an order of 4,000." Anita, PTA Board Member, TX Elementary School

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Tip - Give the Patches in a Ceremony in Front of the Team and even the Parents. You will get the best results if you give the patches out one at a time in a "Ceremony" after practice or after a game where all your players are present and where you PRAISE the players and tell them how they EARNED the patches. That way all the players can see what they each did to EARN a patch. The Ceremony will motivate ALL your players to do the things you want them to do and teach them how to earn patches. THIS APPROACH WORKS. This is a Positive Reinforcement approach and the patches are a Visible Symbol of achievement. For more about this see

You don't have to iron the patches on for them to work - you can simply give them out to be collected or punch a hole so they can go on a ring or key chain.

14 Sample Patch Handouts from Coaches of Different Sports and From Teachers Are Below.

Some of the Best Ideas From Coaches Are to Use the Patches For:

Success results from doing the right things with the right attitude. The question is "How do you get your kids and players to DO THE RIGHT THINGS WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE?" That is where motivation comes in. As Lou Holtz said " Motivation determines what you do." As a coach you are teaching your players more than just soccer skills - you are teaching them life skills and how to be successful. You can motivate them to do the things you want them to do AND to have the right attitude.

Lou Holtz said:

"Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."

As a coach or teacher you can motivate kids and teach them to have the right attitude. The patches are a visual reminder that players and students will be rewarded if they do the things the coach or teacher wants them to do. Players and students talk about them and how they EARNED them. The patches help you train your players or students to do the right things with the right attitude, and that = SUCCESS.

Teachers and Schools - Click Here for Ideas and a Detailed Program to Motivate Every Student at Your School

1. Individual improvement - That way every kid can earn one by improving and you want every kid to improve. In Rec sports, you can't judge weak unathletic kids against athletic kids as far as achievements and speed, but everyone can strive to improve, hustle, be brave, and give it 100%.

2. Attitude - The right attitude is a key to success. We have 2 A patches that can be used to motivate and reward Attitude.

3. Hustle - Hustle is CRITICAL. A team that hustles can beat a better team that doesn't hustle - we see that all the time at all levels of play, even college and professionals. The Lightning Bolt patch is great for hustle and we have it with white and yellow backgrounds. It is an exclusive design.

4. Bravery - In sports, "Brave" is a better motivational word than "Aggressive". Heroes are brave and all kids love heroes. Use "B" patches to motivate and reward Bravery, which is doing something that you might be scared to do, or getting back up when you are knocked down, and not crying if you get bumped. In school, the B patch can be used to motivate and reward students who are Brave enough to work hard and do the right thing.

5. Team Spirit - Every team needs Team Spirit, which is rooting for your teammates and caring about your team. As a coach your team will be more successful if you encourage Team Spirit. We have a "T" Patch for Team Spirit.

6. Reward Your Players or Students if They Please You - Give a Happy Face patch to players or students who make you smile by doing something you want them to do, such as following instructions. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT - by doing this you are training your players to listen to you and to follow instructions. You are teaching them that they will be rewarded is they please you.

7. The V Patch Can be for Team or Personal Victories - Team victories are great but personal victories are also important. A personal victory can be any sort of personal achievement that you think should be encouraged and rewarded. In team sports, it will make a big difference if most of your players improve (MUCH more than if only a few players improve). If your "weak links" improve it will benefit the entire team.

8. Leadership - Every team and school needs leaders - players and students who are role models and set an example for others. In sports, you can reward leadership by giving a C patch and making those players "Captains" for the next game (you can have more than one Captain). In school, the C patch can be used for "Citizenship".

9. Be very careful about giving a MVP patch - it can cause hard feelings and be counterproductive, especially in Rec sports.

10. In Rec sports such as soccer, don't give a patch for scoring a goal or everyone will want to be the scorer and no one will want to be a defender. However, you can give patches for good defense anywhere on the field (even by scorers) and for team attacking and doing the things that lead to goals. In most sports, scoring is a team effort and the scorer gets the glory, but the score wouldn't have happened without other players.

11. It is good to give Rec players a patch for attending practice but not Select players. Select Players should not need to be motivated to attend practice. There are so few practices in many Rec leagues that practice is critical to success and if you can get your players to attend practice it is a huge advantage and you will have a lot more fun.

12. Try to give a patch to every Rec player who attends a game. Coaches have tried it both ways and found that in Recreational leagues it is best to give every player who is at the game a patch so feelings aren't hurt. You might ask "What if the player didn't try?" The way to handle it is to designate special patches for specific actions. For example - a Lightning Bolt for hustle, a "C" for courage, D for Defense, A for Attitude or Effort, T for Teamwork or Leadership, Gold Star for individual improvement, etc. and ONLY give those if they are earned. But have another patch like a Green Star that you can give to the kids who attended but didn't earn a patch (an attendance patch) and the only kids who get it are those who don't earn a patch for hustle, improvement, etc.. This is tricky because you want to motivate players and maybe there is a better way, but this seems to be the consensus of Rec coaches. Some kids are difficult but a positive, encouraging approach is usually best.

13. How to Use Patches to Promote Sportsmanship - "I have been using your patches as motivation for in-game accomplishments and rewards for mastering skills assigned as "homework". However, I thought you might like to hear about another way I am using your patches that has been a great success. At the end of every game, I have my girls pick out a player or two from the other team that they thought played well and present them with a patch. It teaches my girls to look for and recognize good skills and of course, promotes good sportsmanship. I think my girls like giving the patches away as much as receiving them. When we play a team the second time, there is always a friendlier vibe between players and coaches alike." Coach Jeff, CT

Below are links to 23 handouts for soccer, school and other sports. You have our permission to copy any of them and paste them into your document and alter them to suit your needs.

  1. Patch Reward System for Soccer that can be adapted for any Sports. This is my favorite patch motivational system to use for soccer and other sports. It is written for soccer but can easily be adapted for other sports. All the patches in this system will work for any sport. You can simply copy and paste this into a document with your team's name on it, and alter it to fit your sport, team and objectives. Notice how this system encourages Team Attacking, Team Defending, Bravery, Hustle, Leadership, Teamwork, Listening to the Coach and Following Instructions, and teaches that all players have defensive responsibilities. We encourage you to be creative and alter this so it will best motivate and reward your players to help you achieve your objectives. If you have an idea for improving this, please send it to me using the email link above and we will send you 50 free patches if I use your idea. You will be helping many coaches and players if you share a good idea and, if you want, I will recognize your contribution. Click here to see this patch handout
  2. School Motivation Program to Improve Student Behavior, Grades, Attendance, Attitude and Effort. Our Program really works and is based on Positive Reinforcement and Positive Peer Pressure. We believe Every Student Can Improve. If your School wants help, we want to help you. Click here to see this School Student Motivation Program and to Read About How We Can Help. From a TX Elementary School - "Our PTA board loved your reward patches! I'll be calling next week to place an order of 4,000+. We will use them to encourage the Honor Roll, Attendance, Character, Reading, Science, Math, Citizenship and the V patch will be a special reward given at the teacher's discretion to students whose improvement is considered a Victory." Anita, PTA Board Member, TX Elementary School
  3. Soccer Patch Handout. This approach also has pictures of the patches that were copied from SoccerHelp and pasted into the handout and explanations of how they were used to motivate players.
  4. Great Baseball Handout. This link goes to a great baseball handout that rewards Great Catch, Great Attitude & Effort, Batting & Running Bases, Great Defensive Play, Team Spirit, Hustle, Following Instructions and Respecting Others, good Sportsmanship, and attendance. It has photos. Many thanks to Kimberly for sharing it.
  5. Volleyball Patch Handout. Click the link to see a volleyball patch handout submitted by Kristy. Kristy coaches a U14 Travel volleyball team. The handout has a GREAT idea of using the V patch for "Voices" and awards it to players who are vocal - lots of talking, bench cheering, calling balls in and out, telling the hitter where to hit, encouraging talk ("nice hit", "great pass", "awesome serve"), calling for shots, calling out blockers, calling out opponents setter, etc.
  6. Softball Patch Handout. This handout was sent by Marlena "Mo" Osteen the Physical Education Dept. Chair and Varsity Softball Coach at Barry Goldwater High School, Phoenix AZ. Many thanks to Marlena for sharing. She said: "I would like to send you a hand out that I put together for my softball team that includes what patches the girls can earn for certain things that they do on the field or even off the field. Winning was not good enough for us to so I tried the patch idea and it is a complete hit!" Click the link to see the handout.
  7. Baseball Patches Handout with Patch Photos Using A, B, C, D, T, Baseball, Lightning Bolt and Stars (click the link to go to the handout) - This is a great, simple motivational program for a baseball team that uses our patches to reward and motivate players. It motivates players to be Alert (the A patch), to Hustle (the Lightning Bolt patch), to have Team Spirit (the T patch) and to have a Positive Attitude & Never Give Up (the Happy Face). It rewards players for Great Base Running (the B Patch), an Amazing Catch (the C Patch), Consistent Defensive Play (the D Patch), Hitting (the Baseball Patch) and Improvement Due to Hard Work & Attitude (the Green Star patch). A player who does all the things on the list is an All Star and gets a Gold Star. Many thanks to Coach Carmela in Canada for submitting this great handout.
  8. Soccer Patch Spreadsheet. This is a downloadable Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet file. It is intended to help keep track of who got which patch during games and practices. This will only open if you have Microsoft Excel installed on your computer.
  9. Soccer Patch Handout. This handout was submitted by a Girls U-11 coach and shows the patches used and what they were given for.
  10. League Email Explanation about Patches. This was written by a League. No photos, but good descriptions of how to earn each patch.
  11. U12 "Sharks" Patch Handout. This one has photos. I think there might be too many ways to earn each patch, but you can decide what works best for your team.
  12. Simple Patch Handout without Pictures of the Patches. I like some parts of this one, but I think every team should have a patch to encourage every player to be brave and hustle. Bravery should be defined as winning 50/50 balls and aggressive play. If a player gets hurt they can get one, but that shouldn't be the only reason.
  13. Soccer Patch Handout. I like this handout a lot. It is simple and I think is a good motivational system for rewarding important things. It has pictures of the patches that were copied from SoccerHelp and pasted into the handout.
  14. Letter and Soccer Patch Handout for Travel Team. I like this one a lot and it has some great ideas - they give a team "Goal Differential Patch" where every team member gets a patch for Goal Differential. They also give everyone a patch for victories. As the handout says: WINNING GAMES IS A FULL TEAM EFFORT! and SCORING GOALS AND PROVIDING DEFENSE ARE A FULL TEAM EFFORT! They iron the patches on "Streamers" (a piece of cloth about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long) that the girls then attach to their backpacks. The Streamers are very noticeable and uniquely identify the girl's backpacks. Each Streamer would hold 10 or 11 patches, or if they were a little longer they could hold 12. You could also iron them on both sides of the streamer. I think this is a great idea! Another idea is to iron the patches on 2 inch wide RIBBONS, which can then be attached to a backpack as a Streamer.
  15. Ideas for How to Use the Patches for Baseball: My players are loving your patches. We use gold star for player(s) of the game, blue star for hitting, red star for pitching, D for defense, lightning bolt for base running, A for attitude, Smiley face for funny play. We're half way through the season and many players are starting to work on the other sleeve. Easy to apply...most of the dad's are doing the ironing. Good stuff! Thank you from Pleasanton Foothill Little League, Single A Rivercats. --Coach Tony
  16. Baseball - Ideas for Patch Program Spreadsheet for Baseball: We had our first baseball game last night, and the kids and parents absolutely love the patches. Each kid gets a patch after every game, and they are already talking about doing what it takes to earn one of each. I made my own spreadsheet with the patches across the top and the kids names down the side, the date and team played at the bottom. I just check the boxes, so I can remember who has received what patches each game. Gold Star is "the General" for leadership. Red Star is "the Blood Patch" for extra hustle, or getting hit with a ball and toughing it out. Blue Star is "the special effort patch" for giving the best that you have the whole game. D Patch is "the Defensive Patch" for a great individual or team defensive effort all game, or a specific play. V Patch is "the Victory Patch" for each victory that the team achieves. Lightning Bolt is the "the thunderstruck patch" the other team has been thunderstruck and doesn't know what just hit them. The A Patch is given when a player has a great offensive game, multiple hits, a home run, game winning hit, or had a breakthrough offensive moment, maybe their first hit of the season. Thanks to Tim, OK, age 10 baseball coach for these ideas.
  17. Soccer - Colorado Storm Cheetahs Soccer Patch Motivational Program Handout, Soccer Skills Checklist and Letter to Parents Explaining the Patch Program. The links are to 3 handouts submitted by Coach Dave, who coaches 3 teams. This is an excellent program that I really like. He said "I think the patches are a wonderful motivational idea, particularly as awards for the kids demonstrating newly acquired skills. I now have 3 teams earning patches, and am constantly spreading the news about how well they work. My boys wear their patch shorts proudly and can still tell me exactly which skills they earned their patches for." The Patch Motivational Handout has photos.
  18. Baseball - More ideas from Coach Rich, Missouri.

    D patch for good defense effort, play, or knowledge
    A patch for attitude/sportsmanship
    Green Star for Individual improvement due to hard work
    White Lighting bolt patch for a great pitching effort
    C patch for catching three or more innings in a game
    Green/White Baseballs for Offensive production in a game
    Yellow Lightning bolt for Hustle

  19. Great Soccer Patch Motivation Program Handout that Can be Adapted for Other Sports (click the link to go to the Handout) - Hustle, Bravery, Teamwork, Defense, Skills, Warming Up and Fun. Many thanks to Sean in PA for submitting this.
  20. Baseball - Ideas from Coach Tony, 7 year old baseball, CA. Many thanks to Coach Tony for sharing these - I give the patches out as follows:
    baseball patch: one patch if you get on base during the game
    - blue star: out patch - if you contribute to making an out on defense, you get one
    - red star: fielding patch - if you make a clean play on a batted ball in the game
    - silver star: something special. You but your first double. You make a diving stop. You take part in a double play.
    - Lightning bolt: Team Energizer. Don't have to play well, just have a good attitude, cheer your teammates, listen in practice, be a leader.
    - C: each player gets to be Captain for a week. During that week they lead drills, pick their position, be first in line, etc. They get the C patch when they pass the "what does it take to be a Captain" test :-)
  21. Soccer, Baseball and Basketball - ideas from Coach Patrick, U12 Girls Rec Soccer, U10 boys basketball, and U9 baseball team (Below is for Soccer but he uses the same ideas for all 3 sports). Many thanks to Coach Patrick for sharing these -

    Extra Practice Club - Each week during the season, practice 30 minutes in addition to regular practice. This practice may consist of any activity related to soccer, especially activities that can be done individually; dribbling, juggling, punting, neighborhood scrimmage, etc. Have a parent/adult sign your form. If you complete your goal, turn in your form on the first practice of the week and receive a patch for every extra 30 minutes you practice that you can put on your t-shirt. The Extra Practice Club runs for the whole season but once games start we hope to encourage effort and attitude using the following "awards."

    Hustle Award - Each game, coaches will track hustle points. At the end of the game the two players earning the most hustle points will be awarded with a patch of a lightning bolt that can be put on their t-shirt. Players can earn hustle points by:

    - completing long sprints to track down a ball
    - winning 50/50 balls
    - hustling on and off the field during substitutions
    - successful tackles/steals
    - providing help defense

    These patches may be given out during practices if athletes go above and beyond expectations.

    Attitude Award - At the end of each game, the coaches will subjectively pick two players who had the best attitude during the game. The two selected players will be awarded with a patch with a capital A that can be put on their t-shirt. General guidelines of good attitude include:

    - positive cheering throughout the game
    - not getting down on yourself when you make a mistake
    - "picking up" teammates when they make a mistake
    - sincere congratulations to the other team during the end of game hand shake

    These patches may be also given out during practices if athletes go above and beyond expectations.

  22. Soccer and Other Sports for Players Age 13 and Older - From David in reply to the question of whether the patches work for older players -

    You will find that the patches still work with the older players BUT you need to make them EARN them and give them in a ceremony where you explain how each player earned them and praise the player at the same time. Make a BIG deal out of the praise and the reward and give the players the choice of whether to iron them on their jersey, on a practice shirt, jacket, or just collect them. It is a similar idea to college football players who have stickers on their helmets, and soldiers have earned patches for hundreds of years that they proudly display.

    There are a lot of Testimonials from select, middle and high school coaches at

    Think about what you want your players to do - what will make your players and team better. Below are some things I know are important - you can probably think of others.

    - Selecting Captains Based on Practice - I think coming to practice is expected for older players and wouldn't give a patch for attendance BUT I would let players earn patches for special effort during practice such as outstanding effort and being a Role Model or a Leader (Example - I might choose 2 or 3 "Captains" for each game based on practice hustle, attitude, effort, leadership, and following the coach's directions - to be considered a player MUST get to practice on time and MUST do what the coach asks them to do). The Captains would get a C Patch at the end of Practice, which is our best looking patch, and they would be recognized by the coach again before the game in front of the entire team.

    - Hustling the Entire Game - Lightning bolt - EVERY player can earn this. This means 100% hustle when they are on the field. A player who hustles 80% of the time but then doesn't hustle some does NOT get this patch. This will let you teach the importance of 100% hustle.

    - Hustling and Having a Great Attitude for the Entire Practice - Obviously you want to encourage this, BUT I would give a Star or soccer ball for this but SAVE the Lightning Bolt for games.

    - Aggressive, tough play, fighting for the ball - Bravery - B Patch - EVERY player can earn this, including Goalkeepers for Brave play - point out specific events that resulted in a player earning this patch so players know what is "Brave" - don't just give this for normal play - look for acts of Bravery - getting knocked down and bouncing right back up is Brave, body blocking a shot is Brave, fighting for and winning 50/50 balls where there could be a collision is Brave, a Goalie blocking a point blank shot or diving to get a loose ball when there are attackers coming for the ball is Brave.

    - Defense - D Patch - Every player should play defense at times during a game - Example - Forwards should fight to win back the ball if it is turned over in your Attacking Third because even if they foul it won't hurt you because it is so far from your goal (as long as it isn't a dangerous or reckless foul that results in a Forward getting red-carded). BUT if they can win the ball back you are in scoring position and pressuring the ball will prevent fast counterattacks.

    - Teamwork and Team Spirit - Putting the team first is important and an attitude of "Team Spirit" should be encouraged BUT I would be careful how I define "Teamwork". For example, if you have a Forward who can score, you want that, and you don't want to teach Forwards to always pass the ball. I think when they are in Scoring Range you want them to try to score BUT if they pull the defenders and a teammate is open, then they need to pass. We sell a T patch but for older teams I would choose a soccer ball or a star.

    - In soccer I wouldn't give patches for scoring - scoring is its own reward and you don't want every player on your team to think being a scorer is better than the other positions.

  23. Below is from an Age 15 Girls Travel Softball Team (this is from a very professionally run team). The patches earned by each player were posted on their website. Many softball and baseball teams also use Lightning Bolts for sliding, hitting a Home Run, hustle, or doing something that wins a game.
    Orange Star: % of Quality AB > 51% in a weekend or OBP > 51%
    Red Star: Catcher throw out 2+ runners in a weekend/Pitcher % 1st pitch Strikes >60%
    Silver Star: Attending all practices and games in a month
    Green Star: Team Spirit, Great Attitude and Great Hustle for the entire weekend
    Purple Star: 2+ sacrifices in a weekend
    D Patch: Defense Patch - Diving catch, Double play, Outstanding game turning moment
    Blue Star: Personal Achievement/Improvement Reached
    Gold Star: Years with Organization

Remember, the patches don't have to be ironed on to work. An alternative is to punch a hole in them and put them on a key chain that can be attached to a bag or backpack, or they can just be collected. They still work even if they are just collected.

The patches can be used to motivate, encourage or reward the behavior or results you want. Here are a few ideas from coaches, and there are more in the sample handouts above:

-- Positive Reinforcement: All players at some point hustle, pay attention, help a teammate, etc. The patches give you the opportunity to encourage positive behavior and the results you want. You can develop your players skills and have fun too.

-- An example of why Positive Reinforcement is important: Think about the difference between a positive approach and a negative approach. Here is an example: I don't know of any parents who tell their little babies as they are learning to walk: "Just give up." "You can just crawl your whole life." "That's not the way you learn how to walk." "Can't you just walk, I've been explaining it to you for weeks." When babies are learning to crawl, we applaud them for trying even though they keep falling down on their face. We applaud for days, weeks, months and smile at them and tell them "almost there, keep going, you can do it." The same principle can be applied to players and the patches allow a tangible way to do this.

-- Motivation and Incentive: Players begin to look at the patches they have and want more patches of the same or others. With each patch having its own meaning, players then must do the things correctly (paying attention, having a good attitude, attending practice, hustling and trying hard, being brave, etc.) to merit the patch. This helps the players become more complete players and allows the coaches to also remind players what each patch means and how the players can earn them.

Ideas for Using Patches:

Below are ideas for coaches of sports teams. If you are a school or organization, these will give you ideas. There are hundreds of possibilities. Think about what you want to encourage or discourage, and the results you want to achieve. Practice attendance? Hard work? Effort? Attitude and listening to the coach or teacher? Defense? Teamwork? Improvement? Achievements such as winning or completing a task? Adjust the patches to fit your sport or activity. In sports, one thing to think through carefully is whether you want to give patches to the players who score Goals - doing so might encourage everyone to want to shoot, but perhaps you want that. For ideas for school student attendance, grades, behavior and achievements, see the no. 9 handout above. Practice, hard work and effort are critical to success in most things - if you can motivate practice, hard work, a good attitude and effort you should see improvement, and when you see improvement, you can reward it to encourage continued improvement.

Choose a Patch to give for Attending Practices or Games: I started giving patches for practice attendance and attendance went from about 70% to almost 100%. Other coaches have had this same experience. If you are a soccer coach, there are many colors of soccer ball patches to choose from. If you coach a different sport, band, cheerleading, etc., choose a Star Patch.

"A" Patch for Attitude, Teamwork or Assist: Use this patch to either encourage a good attitude, teamwork or assists in sports like soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball and lacrosse, or a good attitude or teamwork in School, Band or a Club.

Choose a Star Patch for improvement of skills: If you play our Practice Games, you will see improvement in skills in the various games. In soccer, I gave patches to the players who won the Practice Games that showed significant skill, such as "Dribble Across a Square" and "Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race".

"V" Patch for Victories: This can be for winning a game, or for playing a great game even if you lose. I know I've lost a few games against better teams when my players played SOOO hard that I considered it a victory - when your team plays like that, they are winners, not losers.

Lightning Bolt Patch or Gold Star Patch for Bravery, Hustle and Aggressive Play: This patch can be earned by winning 50/50 balls. Or by getting knocked down and getting right back up. Or by being a player who always hustles. Choose the most desired patch for this and make players earn this patch so it has great value and is highly coveted. This is one of the most important patches a coach can give.

"D" Patch for Defense: Do you have a problem getting players to play defense? A special patch will help. The BIG D is perfect.

The C Patch can stand for many things, including for Courage, Champion, Commitment or accepting a Challenge.

Many Coaches give a patch for Assists: In soccer, an assist is when a player who passes the ball to a teammate who then kicks the ball in the goal. Can aid in getting players to keep the ball moving and others involved.

Choose a Star Patch to encourage players to play positions you have a hard time filling: The patches work for all ages - even high school age.

Choose a Star Patch to encourage things you are having a problem with, or to discourage bad habits you want to break, or to encourage things that are very important for success:

Happy Face Patch for Good Sportsmanship: Players shake hands (or touch hands going through a line), play hard but fair, don't intentionally foul, and don't call names or insult the other team. We will do our best, but win or lose we will be good sports. If we win or lose we will say "Good game".

The Shamrock Patch is a great patch to give out at the end of the season to wish everyone "Good luck".