The role of the coach in motivation – A msg from Tim Hart

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The role of the coach in motivation. During the year I will be writing occasional pieces here and on the website. Rather than being blow by blow match reports they will often address coaching points and mental preparation and performance. I am happy for you to comment on these, to disagree, to discuss, to offer your thoughts and experiences on issues raised. I remember at an AFL Coaching Conference listening to Phil Jauncey. Phil was, at the time, the sports psychologist for the Australian cricket team and the Brisbane team under Leigh Matthews and also worked with Wayne Bennett. One thing Phil said was; “I believe that there are only four reasons why people do not perform: They do not know what to do. They do not have the resources to do it. They do not have the skills to do it. They do not want to do it.” He suggested that as coaches our energies should be directed in the first three areas. The Club needs to ensure we provide good facilities to train and play and the right equipment to train properly e.g. balls, cones, training aids. As coach I need to help you identify where you can improve and how and devise methods to do this and to develop your skill level. On the other hand, you need to develop strong internal motivation. As a mature player you need to work towards strong self-motivation as your primary focus, not rely on the coach, fellow players or others to push you all the time. It’s a great game. You play with fantastic people at a fine club. Why wouldn’t you love both training and playing? Having said this, I found Andrew Sincock’s passion and enthusiasm motivating when I played at East Torrens and positive reinforcement from the coach was always welcome when I played to boost confidence. My point is that you shouldn’t rely on someone else to get you going, for the coach to think for you or even to blame others when things go wrong. A good saying to keep in mind – if it is to be, it’s up to me! See you at training. (If you are interested in such things, I actually bought Phil’s book after his talk. It’s titled ‘Managing Yourself and Others: Secrets of Successful Management’ by Dr. Phil Jauncey and has lots of good ideas)
Tim Hart