Knowing how to motivate your team can be tricky, especially after a recent defeat. Keeping your rugby players upbeat is tough if form has been patchy and a lack of focus has settles over the team. The responsibility for team morale lies with the coach, so if you’re a coach looking for helpful tips to motivate your rugby team, then look no further:
- Create the best environment
A positive environment is a must, which must be felt as soon as the players arrive for training. All around the training ground, the environment must be inspiring, forward-looking, foster a sense of confidence and be upbeat. When your players arrive, what are they faced with? Perhaps an improvement in the aesthetics is in order, such as a fresh lick of paint, a spruce up of the changing rooms or investing in some new equipment.
Similarly, you need to connect with your players and share your passion for the game. The closer you feel as a unit, the more likely the players are to give it 110% and fight for each other on the pitch.
- Two-way communication
We all understand the importance of open and clear communication but remember that that must be a two-way street between you as the coach and your players. It is the job of the coach to implement solutions and lead the training, however, the best coaches also listen to their players, hear their thoughts and goals and use this to improve efforts to move forward and for their future motivation.
- Never punish failure
Sport is passionate, evoking ecstasy, delight and despair in equal measure and sometimes all within a very short space of time. It’s easy to get carried away and the disappointment felt can be met with a knee-jerk reaction of anger and blame. This only ever results in negative performance from your players. Always try to remain positive, encouraging and remember to fuel their motivation, not kill it.
- Have fun
You will struggle to build a positive and motivational environment without an element of fun in your training. Sport should be fun, it’s one of the most important elements but quite difficult to achieve when players start to feel pressure. Try not to zap all the fun out of training, or you might find your team numbers start to dwindle. Challenge your players and introduce new and fun exercises each week. For inspiration, see Rugby Drill Videos at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/
- Empower your players
When you have a belief in your team, you must learn to take a step back sometimes and give them some responsibility for their own training and self-development. Showing you have confidence in them, give them the freedom to achieve your goals and targets and you will motivate them massively. Whilst it’s tough to not micromanage sometimes and be forever overseeing what players are doing, you must foster the belief that players can take control of their own team’s success and achievements.