12 Ways to Motivate Players
Success results from doing the right things with the right attitude


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4-Step Plan for Successfully Motivating Players, Teams, Athletes and Students


200 Motivational Coaching Quotes for Coaches


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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.


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.


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