Coaching for Success: Methods for Motivating the High School Athletes

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Rowley, David
The purpose of this study was to research various motivational techniques used with high school student athletes. Data for this study was collected through observations of practices and games of high school student athletes over a period of time. These observations were categorized as positive extrinsic, negative extrinsic, or assumed intrinsic motivational strategies. High school athletes were asked to complete a survey inquiring about the effectiveness of the coaching/teaching motivational strategies. All student athlete data was placed in a graph and analyzed. Coaches and teachers of student athletes were also surveyed. They also answered questions about the perceived effectiveness of various motivational strategies. All data from coaches and teachers was placed in a graph and analyzed. Research suggests that although a large majority of student athletes, coaches, and teachers perceive intrinsic and positive extrinsic motivational strategies as most effective, many are still experiencing and utilizing negative extrinsic motivational strategies. Negative motivational strategies are perceived by this study’s participants to be least effective, yet much evidence of it being put to use still exists. This was demonstrated during the observational portion of this study. Many coaches and teachers are, however, basing their instruction on intrinsic and positive extrinsic motivation, which is, according to this research, the most effective way to instruct.