Sports and group activities are a vital aspect of the college experience.
Whether you are on the volleyball team, intramural Rugby team, on the speech team, or a group assigned a project, working together for a common goal teaches valuable life lessons and experience that can’t be taught in a classroom or book.
But, there will inevitably be times where a team is faced with discouragement, preoccupied with other activities, and sidetracked with assignments. Life happens and, suddenly, it’s a struggle to keep our groups and teams motivated which can lead to negative experiences for all the participants and coaches. Afterall, Babe Ruth said it best, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.”
To keep your team on track or rebuild passion, please scroll through the following tips to improve your team’s motivation at college:
Teach social media etiquette and how to protect their personal identity.
At first glance, social media seems harmless and can be used as a wonderful tool to stay in touch with friends from back home, to keep tabs on college life, and connect with your teammates. However, social media can quickly snowball into a wide variety of difficult scenarios that range anywhere from oversharing, inappropriate posts, cyberbullying, identity theft, catfishing, and good old fashioned distractions from school work or team goals. Set a team up for success by building a strong foundation of social media skills so they can maintain respectable profiles, cut the drama, and stomp out any potential problems before they turn into dangerous distractions.
Experience a taste of success.
An easy way to motivate a team is to build their confidence by convincing them they are good at what they do and erasing doubts. You don’t need to buy everyone a trophy, but try to provide access to scenarios and choices that will set teammates up to develop their skills. Reward members with positive affirmations, awards, win games, and celebrate successes as a team.
College teams know the drill and have practiced the same skills over and over. Change things up and encourage them to try new drills, skills, and activities. By keeping things fresh and original, you will be able to motivate your team and prevent feelings of boredom and keep members from checking out emotionally and physically.
Lead by example.
Inspire your team by being authentic and the best version of yourself. Model appropriate ways to overcome adversity, share your real struggles, and go beyond “great job”- build each other up with meaningful and specific praise.
A simple way to improve team motivation is by encouraging and strengthening the relationships among teammates. Do things together outside of practice and try team building exercises. This will provoke group members to become leaders, friends, and see each other as a family which will ultimately improve their performance.
Sometimes, people just need someone to hear them. If a team member is feeling frustrated with school or the activities, just listen. By offering a shoulder to lean on, you will be encouraging meaningful interactions, sending the message that you care, and providing an opportunity for someone to vent so they can get back on track.
Have high expectations.
College teams want to be challenged. The chances are high that your teammates have already experienced success and now want to find that same feeling at a higher level. If you have high expectations, often members will raise above and beyond to meet your goals. This also shows that you believe in your team, which will in turn motivate everyone.
Know your stuff.
College students are smart and want to grow their own skill set. They are quickly mastering or honing their techniques and expect you to be informed and relevant. Be up-to-date on new skills, information, and don’t waste their time with boring dribble. They will know when you are faking your knowledge and that is the fastest way to lose respect and motivation. Do your research and be knowledgeable.
What are some effective ways you have used to improve your team’s motivation at college?
Image Credit: Pixabay
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