Motivating young kids

This is always a challenge for coaches (me). Most of the high school kids I coach now are all self-motivated to a varying degree. But young kids (8-12 yo) often have trouble concentrating and staying motivated for an entire 7 inning game. Any tips? One thing I tend to do is run around and workout with the kids with a sense of enthusiasm. My hope is that they see my love for the game and hustle and will “model” that behavior in their own ways… But was wondering if you had any other suggestions!

When I was coaching, I always carried myself in the dugout the way I wanted my pitchers to carry themselves on the mound. I think your approach is excellent.

“Your actions speak to loud I cannot hear what you say.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Another suggestion is simply to apply positive reinforcement. There is an article on the NPA site titled, “Catch Them Doing It Right”. The point of hte article is that coaches always get on players for mistakes but rarely do they compliment players when they do things right. Just a little more positive reinforcement could go a long way. If one player starts garnering all the compliments, the other players will notice and do something about it (if they care - you won’t motivate the ones who don’t care and don’t really want to be there).

This whole idea of “positive reinforcement” holds true at all levels of the game—even in the major leagues. :slight_smile:

That’s very, very true, Roger. All high school coaches in the state of Massachusetts have to take a “Fundamentals of Coaching” course before the season and in mine, which I took a few weeks ago, the same points were brought up. IT’s all about creating that positive, upbeat environment where kids can be successful. And truthfully, it’s not just youth age kids (8-13) but also high school and college kids, too… at least that’s how all my favorite coaches were throughout my career!

i like one of the previous posts of keeping action happening during practice, keep the kids moving and engaged and always doing something this will keep them connected