“Good job!” Is praising your athlete a good idea?
Continuing the theme of coaching, this week, we here at Dark Horse HQ want to look at how we should be praising our athletes, and the pitfalls we should be avoiding when we dish out those all to familiar “Good job!”, “Gimme five!”, “Awesome!”, “What perfect technique!”… encouraging phrases you might hear at any gym or training environment.
Firstly, let me just state that it may be that not all forms of praise are harmful. Research has shown that different types of praise have different effects on athletes. It has also been shown that praise motivates anyone to work hard, learn, explore, and have a healthy outlook on their abilities. In some cultures, such as East Asian cultures, praise is rare. Despite this, the athlete’s you see at all major sporting events, all turn up motivated. Furthermore, comparable terms for “good boy” and “good girl” don’t exist in some European languages, such as German, French, or Polish. In addition, praise that is sincere, rather than automatic-sounding, and conveys realistic expectations can promote athlete’s self-motivation.
So here are the Dark Horse top 7 points for praising your athletes.
So what is the goal when it comes to encouraging athletes? Research suggests that we keep in mind our long-term goals for our athletes and watch for the effects of what we say. Ultimately, we want to encourage our athletes to be self-motivated and to embrace challenge… and that means not making them dependent on praise.
Want to get the right praise for your efforts in training? Head on over to our Crew and join a community dedicated to getting you better at the work you put in and the results you work for.
Yours in education, training and motivation.
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