|Softball Smarts Tips #132:
Is Your Athlete Truly Motivated for Success?
As parents we keep opening up the pocketbook for monthly softball dues, private instruction, the latest equipment, gasoline and drive thru for endless games in far away places. Travel softball has become a religion for many of us. We hop on board the train hoping for a college destination. But all too often our athlete lacks the internal motivation and drive to really make our investment pay adequate dividends, and it is very frustrating to see watch her game day roller coaster rides.
So I ask you the question...is your athlete truly motivated for success?
Motivation fuels desire and without it your athlete will never achieve her true softball potential. In a game as tough as fastpitch softball she needs the fire in her belly to get through the tough days and the work necessary to master a difficult game. So what is this motivation and where can she find it?
There are two primary kinds of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic motivation is when your athlete is motivated simply because she loves the game. If she could she would play the game 24/7. If this is your athlete you probably don't need to read any further. However, if your athlete is not a "gym rat" so to speak she may need to find some extrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivation means doing an activity for the hope of a tangible reward, goal or incentive. It would be like offering your athlete a new iPhone if she gets an "A" in Geometry, let's say. This incentive may well motivate her to work super hard to achieve the "A." However, if your incentive was a trip to McDonald's, instead of the iPhone, for the "A" in Geometry she may not possess the same motivation and, thus, not work as hard (I'm being kind, as I'm sure her response to the two incentives would be drastically different!).
Sometimes younger athletes can't connect the dots between their goals, rewards or incentives and the work and effort necessary to achieve them. That's where you come in!
First an athlete has to ask herself "Why do I play the game?" Once she has the answer to this vital question she should have her motivation, if she can tie a specific goal or incentive to her efforts. This incentive can be getting a college scholarship, making All-League or All-State, down to making new friends. Whatever it takes to motivate and drive her to success is what she and you have to find for her.
FYI - If your athlete's answer for why she plays the game is to please her parents that will not motivate her for long. She needs to find something deep inside she can get excited about.
The good news is if she can find the proper motivation your athlete will be driven to put in the time necessary for the proper physical and mental preparation she will need to consistently play her best on game day, and move to the top of the recruiting list.
Your job as parent is to connect her effort to her incentives, so she sees the need (and the "pay off") for all the hard work her coaches ask her to put in. Once your athlete truly becomes self-motivated you will no longer have to push her to practice. As a result her game day performances and your softball ROI will be off the charts!
**Be sure to open next week's Softball Smarts Tips for a free three lesson video course on what your athlete can do to move to the very top of the recruiting list by using the exact same high performance secrets top college, Olympic and professional athletes use to skyrocket their game day performances.
**You can now access the Softball Smarts Tips Archives of all previous issues by clicking here.
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Remember, thoughts are things...so choose them wisely!
Thanks for reading,
Winner's Edge Softball