8 Ways To Boost The Team Spirits Of Young Athletes Playing Team Sports
Boosting team spirit is not just important in winning. In the world of sports, it can help enhance young athletes’ confidence on different levels. If you’re a coach or an adviser, it’s important that you keep the team’s collective spirits high, especially before and after a game. From setting realistic goals to giving rewards like personalized water bottles, here are eight ways you can do it.
Set realistic goals for the team. First and foremost, you have to know the importance of proper goal-setting. If you lay out objectives that are too high and unrealistic, it can cause your athletes to overexert themselves; once the team fails, it can negatively impact their morale. Assess your team and set goals that are justifiable and measurable.
Conduct team building activities. Whether the team was just formed or is already existing for quite some time now, holding regular team building activities is essential in fostering camaraderie and teamwork. It will also help build trust among your players and enhance their communication skills.
Reward them with customized gifts. Incentivizing your team can also significantly boost their spirit. Apart from verbal rewards, doling out gifts that are customized can enhance their morale and give them a sense of pride and belongingness. When giving gifts to athletes, it’s better to invest in something unique yet practical, like personalized water bottles.
Strategically assign responsibilities. As in any other team or group, you’d have more chances of achieving your goals and growing as a whole if specific roles and responsibilities are designated smartly and strategically. This will also help develop a sense of ownership in each of your team’s players. Again, this task entails thorough assessment of every athlete’s skills and capabilities.
Listen and pay attention to their concerns. A great coach is someone who knows how to listen. Pay attention to each of your athletes and lend a listening ear once they open up about their concerns. If a part of your team is struggling with something, it can affect his or her performance, and can also degrade the whole team spirit. Also, knowing that there’s a coach they can depend on, your players will be more confident about speaking about their problems.
Be mindful about the words you use. Win or lose, you have to be careful about the words you say to your team. As words are powerful, you have to use them wisely. Use a positive language when giving criticisms or correcting a player or the team’s mistake/s. Also be gentle with your tone but know when to be assertive and authoritative.
Share decisions. One great way of empowering each athlete in your team is involving them in decision-making. And this doesn’t necessarily mean decisions about your game strategies. Instances as simple as choosing where you want to hold your annual retreat can already make them feel valuable and appreciated.
Emphasize the importance of having fun. Playing team sports involving young athletes is not all about competing — it’s all about having fun and growing in the process. Apart from giving rewards and incentives (e.g. Personalized water bottles), you have to reiterate that in every game and activity that the team undertakes, they should always find enjoyment in what they do.