When you’re a coach for any kind of sports team, it’s your responsibility to keep your players motivated. When your team feels inspired, they are more likely to work hard, build stronger relationships with each other and earn success. While motivating your players continually might seem easy in theory, in reality, it can be difficult and frustrating. To keep your team motivated all season long whether you win or lose, you need to develop an effective plan ahead of time. To help you do this, here are some motivational methods you might want to consider using. Picture Recognise their efforts Recognition is one of the biggest motivators a coach can use to inspire their team to continue working hard. Commend individuals when you see that they are doing a good job or recognise your team as a whole when they have performed well. You can do this by giving them specialist golf trophies or football medals. Giving a speech in the changing room about how proud you are can also be a key form of motivation. Another option is to treat them to a night off from practice or take them out for a team meal after a sporting event. A team will also strive to improve if they are being led by someone that believes and encourages them. So rather than always pointing out the negatives, remember to recognise the positives too. Promote fun While you might be eager for your team to do well, always make fun a priority. If the members of your team don’t enjoy practise or playing, this can quickly create a negative atmosphere. They won’t want to work hard or strive to be the best they can be. It can also be easy for them to lose interest and you may lose players as a result. As a coach you need to find the right balance between work and play for the best results. Look for opportunities to inject fun into your practise sessions while also encouraging everyone to work hard. This will keep your team engaged and more eager to practise. Picture Get to know your team Getting to know your team is an excellent way of discovering what motivates each individual. Something that works for one person may not work for everyone. So make an effort to talk to each member of your team and find out more about their life and background. Show them you are interested in them as a whole and not just their abilities as an athlete. This will make it easier to find methods that cater to each team member rather than just the team as a whole. If your team feel you understand and care about them, this can be a huge source of motivation. As well as using these methods, you also need to be a role model to your team. Having an inspiring leader to look up to can work wonders for your team and spur them to perform well during every game. So lead by example and always remember to be patient.