I often get asked to do motivation talks to athletes, coaches, teams and organisations all over the world.
I am happy to accept the professional fees but….to be honest: Motivation Talks Do Not Work.
Motivation is the fire that burns inside the hearts and minds of people: people who dream of being more than they are now: of being all they can be.
Trying to force or impose your motivation on other people does not work.
Motivation is not handing someone a book written by a great athlete or successful business leader and saying to them, “Read this then do it like they did”.
Motivation is not sending your team a link to a You Tube video of a great champion talking about how their attitude determined their outcome.
Motivation is not offering rewards and incentives to athletes to try to convince them to work hard to achieve things.
Motivation is a personal thing: it lives inside athletes. Successful coaches are those who take the time and make the effort to understand the unique motivation that burns inside each athlete they coach.
Great coaches get excited about their athletes’ dreams.
They get as excited about their athletes dreams as the athletes themselves are…..maybe even more excited.
Nothing in coaching is more infectious than enthusiasm: nothing is more precious than passion.
Find ways of helping each and every athlete you coach to realise their dreams – even if their dream isn’t your dream.
This is particularly true when it comes to helping and encouraging athletes with extraordinarily high ambitions and very lofty dreams: the ones who lay in bed at night dreaming of an Olympic Gold Medal or to be a starting player in the N.B.A. or to break a world record.
Extraordinary athletes have a vision about their sporting future.
They can see their dreams so clearly – so vividly – that it’s almost as if they can feel them. They see their dreams with such clarity – it’s as if they’ve already happened – that achieving their dreams is an inevitability – because in their mind – their dream is their reality: they’re living their dream.
A vision is a dream which someone is working hard to turn into reality.
Your best athletes are dreamers – like you.
Like most coaches, you spend every waking moment dreaming about coaching. About helping athletes to be the best they can be. About watching from the stands as one of your athletes stands high on the Olympic podium – hand on heart – loudly and proudly singing their national anthem.
It all starts with a dream.
No More Motivation Mistakes: Try Shared Dreaming.
The most common response we give when someone shares their dreams with us is to try and change their dreams to be more like ours.
We will sometimes even try to change their dreams with supportive comments like:
“Hey – that’s really great but you should be doing…………..”
“Good on you for having a dream but the way things are done here is………..”
“I used to think like that, but the reality is……………………”
“Hey that’s a good idea but you should change it to…………..”
Imagine what a world – what a coaching program – what a team you would have if – instead of cutting down tall poppies you actually helped them grow taller.
The smartest thing you can do as a coach is to help your athletes to achieve their dreams – to encourage them to dream – and to dream with them.
Motivation…forget the pre-race speeches.
Forget the half time rants. Forget the boring stories about the great sporting champions from the past.
Forget the Motivation Mistakes that everyone makes.
Listen to your athletes. Share their dreams. Inspire them to chase their dreams without fear. And provide them with the opportunity and the environment to be all they want to be.