“Good is not good when better is expected.”
– Vin Scully
The question often arises as to why certain athletes sacrifice a great deal of time and effort to practice sport instead of opting for a more sedentary and, in principle, a comfortable life. In the same way, there is a discussion about the influence of motivation on sporting success, and the extent to which an athlete can reach the highest level without the necessary motivation.
Motivation in sport has become an object of growing interest, with continuous attempts to develop motivational strategies that facilitate intervention at both of the above-mentioned levels, whether it be to increase adherence to different sports programs or to achieve optimal psychological preparation aimed at achieving maximum levels of performance in competitive sport.
Pep, Mourinho, Sir Alec, Bielsa, and most recently Flick are part of a long list of DT’s who have not only stood out for their cerebral analysis of friend and foe alike, most significantly, is their application of said analysis transformed into strategies, the successful application of motivational strategies to keep their star-filled rosters on track and focused. In its due dimension, a similar problem being faced by Victor Manuel Vucetich and our beloved Rebaño Sagrado.
Coaches need to consider motivation as the product of the interaction of internal (personal) and external (environmental or situational) factors.
In sports, the coach is the main motivator and, therefore, his personality, his conviction, his goals, and his motivation techniques are fundamental for the development of the players' attitudes and success. In this sense, Vucetich may be sacrificing other elements of the game that are also important to reinforce this area.
The coach needs to reinforce his own philosophy about what is important (motivational factors) is that need to put his methods of philosophy into action. If there is no success, Vuce and his Crew, have to decide how to improve the situation. They need to analyze and consider the advantages and disadvantages of their philosophy. This is the stage that Vuce’s Rebaño is at now.
The DT has to be aware of how he works on motivation at the team level and how it affects each player. He must strive to determine if he can unconsciously undermine the players' motivational goals.
There are two main ways to achieve motivation in sports: Conversations and discussions with the team and individual dialogues with each athlete. From what I have been able to observe, the most effective form of motivation is a sincere and enthusiastic commitment to players to achieve a common goal.
Finally, we need to also take a look at the player. The most important piece of the puzzle.
Why do our players need motivation you may ask?
After all, they are LIVING THE DREAM. Along with all the professional pressure our athletes may be under, it is easy to forget that the team is made up of people, who have individual, maybe even very personal, problems which they need to deal with.
So, the fundamental reasons for motivating athletes would be to keep in mind, the player is looking for recognition. The player wants to feel strong. In certain cases, he may also try to satisfy the desire of his parents, friends, or any other person. The player may be trying to vent their feelings of anger, etc.,. That’s why I try and stay away from subjective comments on player performance. Statistics are a part of behavioral science and they can in many ways tell you so much more about why a player is or is not performing up to expectations.
For motivation to be effective, the player must feel unique and special in some way. They must be managed on a personal level.
Most significantly the player must clearly understand and accept the goals of the team.
That my friends, is the next step.