Should You Motivate by Paying for Results?
Kids begin playing sports to have fun, and fun is often all they need to continue playing well. Too many rewards actually undermines a player’s progress. Players will continue to play well because they love the game and enjoy the feeling of satisfaction that comes with improvement.
A frequent mistake parents make with their young players is rewarding points or specific activities with money or some other incentive. Although it sounds similar to rewarding a good report card, paying bonuses often does more harm than good.
Scores in a game should be the result of a team’s working together and outworking its opponent. A score often starts with hard work by the defense and culminates with a coordinated attack by the offense. A score generally has many players sharing the credit. The player who actually gets credit for the score should always be thankful to everyone else on the team.
Parents should encourage their child to be a part of the effort rather than just to be the one to get the credit. Players motivated to score points will often either play selfishly or, for fear of losing an opportunity to score, simply stand around waiting for someone else to pass to them. Paying for goals can diminish a child’s sense of accomplishment and pride in his or her own efforts throughout the game. Teams may not win and players may not score. If a player’s only measure of success is being paid, then it will be difficult to learn the importance of being satisfied with individual efforts in spite of what else happens during the game. The best motivation parents can instill in their child is the motivation that comes from within based on efforts, desires, and a love of the game.
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Sports Esteem for the above article.
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