In my 20 + years of working with kids, I have learned that there are 3 ways to “reward” an athlete for good
1) Tangible Rewards (medals, athletic letters, stickers)
2) Communication Rewards (praise, publicity, smiles, thumbs up)
3) Activity Rewards (playing a game instead of doing a drill, getting to take a short rest, being able to keep playing)
It’s a good idea to use ALL 3 types of rewards as part of your motivation strategy.
Some kids will do ANYTHING for a tangible reward, others could care less about earning a medal. Some kids grow up in very critical households, so having a coach say they did something amazingly well will keep them working at their full potential day in and day out. And finally, some kids love to be singled out and given an activity reward in front of their peers.
Can you see how this three-pronged rewards approach might help your coaching?
It’s way more fun to reward a kid doing something correctly than one doing something wrong (for you and the kid).
See you on the court!