motivation

Good relationships provide a powerful foundation for coaching. Connecting is something you do and can practice getting better at, particularly the art of listening well. 5 Barriers to Connecting Think of connecting as a soft skill:  A sideshow to the main task of preparing to win. Just be friendly: “Banter” is sufficient. A good relationship means you are always relaxed and smiling together. Talk only about sport: Ignore their lives, relationships, dreams and world outside of sport. Solve a problem, offer reassurance or give advice…

Premature professionalism in youth sport is a growing problem. Environments created to replicate professional sport, ‘elite’ pathways at 8-years-old and coaches removing autonomy from the environment by exerting total control. In this article, PDP Editor, Dave Wright challenges the status quo and asks how we can break the machine that coaching is at risk of becoming. The world of sport is constantly evolving and new technology creeps into all sporting codes. Youth players wear tracking devices and GPS, while data can even now be captured…

Stephen Rollnick is a pioneer in motivational interviewing and in recent years has been applying his knowledge to sport. In this article, Stephen offers a psychology perspective on the key differences between praise and affirmation with young athletes. “When you’re that young, it doesn’t take a lot to be encouraged, or discouraged . . . they raised my game . . . they saw something in me I didn’t see in myself.” (Sir Ken Robinson, educationalist) In my work as a psychologist and trainer in…

Let’s focus on how we’re coaching, not what we’re coaching. In this article, motivational researcher and top rugby coach, Jonny McMurtry shares an article on the value of relationships and connection in coaching. After an excellent article written around Matt Wilkie, IRFU’s head of coach development coinciding with my own personal development in assisting swimming coaches, a sport where I know very little around the tactical and technical aspects, it pushed me down a rabbit hole looking at how we can adjust our focus to…

In this article, PDP Lead Researcher, James Vaughan reflects on how a history of linear, data-driven approaches are limiting player development. James emphasises the importance of understanding the complexity that comes with human development. Last month I finally published a scientific paper, Developing Creativity to Enhance Human Potential in Sport: A Wicked Transdisciplinary Challenge. After rejections and reviews, the paper was finally out there. Cue scientific revolution and practical evolution – next step Nobel prize ceremony in December. Not quite. Even so, I was excited…

In this Masterclass Discussion Dave Wright sits down with motivational researcher and rugby coach, Jonny McMurtry. Jonny discusses his research into motivation and participation in youth sport. Jonny and Dave cover a number of topics including athlete motivation, autonomy supportive environments, talent identification and coach behaviour. This is another fascinating discussion around psychology and youth development not to be missed. Show Notes 0:00  – 2:00: Introduction and upcoming Rugby World Cup predictions 2:00 – 5:35: Background in Rugby and coaching 5:35 – 8:04: Why player…

What motivates young people to play sport? Why do some players like Zlatan Ibrahimović and Yannick Bolasie play the way they do? In this Masterclass Discussion, Dan Wright sits down with PDP Lead Researcher James Vaughan to discuss some of the complexities of player motivation. James has been studying motivation in football and shares some of his research to help football coaches working in the the youth development space. Big topics like Self Determination Theory, intrinsic motivation and social-cultural influences are discussed. Image Source: Pexels

The question this week comes from Sarah, via Facebook. “How do I get to know my players?” Your Turn: Ask PDP Anything Do you have a coaching question that we might be able to help with? We would love to hear from you. Here’s what you can do: Join the conversation on our PDP Slack Community. Post them in the comments section, tweet them to us at @playerdp, or ask them on our Facebook page. Additional Resources Check out other Q&A Videos here.   Ebook: Coaching Fundamentals: Six Steps to…

 J. Bartholomew, N. Ntoumanis, and C. Ntoumanis The Big Idea Let’s begin this research review with an illustration.  In sports, there is a difference between players who are merely involved and players who are fully committed.  (You will have to play along here.)  There is an old American illustration pointing out this difference, the difference between being involved and being committed.  Think of a ham and eggs breakfast.  You will notice a real difference between the contributions of the two barn animals.  The chicken is…

The question this week comes from Dave, via Twitter: “Is hunger or desire coachable? I have some Under 13 players who are lacking in desire but they have a good technical base.” Your Turn: Ask PDP Anything Do you have a coaching question that we might be able to help with? We would love to hear from you. Here’s what you can do: Join the conversation on our PDP Slack Community. Post them in the comments section, tweet them to us at @playerdp, or ask them on our Facebook…

As a coach, it’s easy to overlook the sacrifices players and their parents make to pursue their love of sport. With support from Murray United Technical Director, Adam Carty, PDP Contributor, Lara Mossman shares an article on commitment and motivation for young players, providing advice for coaches on how to create autonomy supportive environments. When young players sign up for talented and elite player programs, the commitment is usually considerable. Compared to their counterparts in community sports programs, some players travel several hours each week…

What value does belonging have in youth development? PDP Contributor & Founder of Raising Excellence, Reed Maltbie shares a personal story that outlines the critical importance of the environments we create and the tribes we belong to. I sat in the parking lot, a quiet observer, hoping not to be noticed by my son. People change when they are being watched. When they know someone is observing, they change behaviors, words, interactions. When they are “in their element” and not aware of watchful eyes, they…

Claudio Ranieri’s dismissal as Leicester Manager this season has been one of the most controversial decisions in recent sporting history. Assistant Editor Jon Hoggard challenges the current football system and its tendency to place extrinsic motivators at the forefront of both clubs’ and players’ agendas.   Who’d be a manager? The sacking of Claudio Ranieri just nine months after he led Leicester City to the Premier League title is one of the most gut-wrenching stories of the season. Clubs sacking league-winning managers isn’t that uncommon…

PDP Lead Researcher James Vaughan and Research Associate Hanna Eggestrand explore the basic human values that shape coaching sessions and discuss some practical implications for coaches and clubs. Behind everything we do in life, there is a why. Why do people hold certain attitudes and behave in certain ways? Research shows a consistent but often overlooked factor at play here: our values. Essentially, when you ask yourself “why do I coach?” or “why do I coach like that?”, the answer comes from what you value deep down….

Tim Kasser, Steve Cohn, Allen Kanner, Richard Ryan The Big Idea It might seem from the title of this research discussion on American corporate capitalism that it might have little relevance for the interests of our loyal Player Development Project readers.  Well, if you give this summary a go you will likely change your mind.  If one thinks a bit about the values and goals of corporate capitalism, it is impossible to ignore what has mysteriously become something of “the elephant in the room” in…

Carol S. Dweck The Big Idea A good number of years ago the American educator and philosopher, John Dewey, wrote a little, sticky sentence when talking about learning.  It was this sentence: “We must have lions in our path.”  In a general sense, Carol Dweck’s literature research review turns nicely on exactly that sentence.  Dewey was arguing that progressive human development depended upon facing challenges.  How we respond to those challenges largely defines the extent to which we become all that we can be. Dweck’s subject…

Carol S. Dweck and Ellen L. Leggett The Big Idea This paper is a continuation of the line of research by Carol Dweck and others on behaviours that are characterised as adaptive or maladaptive.  In other words, there are patterns or tendencies in children that are identifiable by way of the choices made with regard to achievement opportunities.  While sport is not mentioned in this paper, it is an easy pivot to see how it is that some players truly thrive on challenges and obstacles;…

Jean Cote The Big Idea Early in the 21st Century support for children of families with a parent who was deployed in the United States Military was identified with the slogan “We Serve Too.”  The big idea of this research paper on families of elite athletes by Jean Cote could easily be captured by the same slogan—only in this case it is the families of deployed athletes Who Serve Too.  Families are often forgotten as having significant influence on the social context of developing athletes. Cote…

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