Understanding Motivation: Coaches, Athletes, and Academic Support Staff

This week-long set of five 75-minute workshops will explore the mindsets, cultural variables, and interpersonal approaches that are most effective in increasing the motivation of student-athletes.  Although no one can “make” another person motivated, the concepts in these workshops will offer coaches the tools and approaches they need to enhance motivation and engagement.  Among the topics that will be taught and discussed include: fostering growth mindset, providing effective feedback, establishing motivating team norms, supporting intrinsic motivation, and identity development.  Sessions will be a combination of brief interactive lectures, discussion, application to current “cases” (from coaches’ experiences), and between-session reflections and assignments.  During the sessions, coaches will develop more insight into what they are doing that is effective and less effective with regard to motivating their teams.  At the end of the week, coaches will possess an expanded range of tools and approaches for enhancing the motivation and engagement of their student-athletes.  

Sample modules:

  1. Growth Mindset: How to create a team context that promotes and supports a focus on growth and improvement.
  2. Effective Feedback: How to provide feedback that offers a roadmap for improvement, and that communicates both high expectations and support.
  3. Establishing Team Norms: How to establish team norms that foster motivation, interdependence, and accountability.  
  4. Intrinsic Motivation: How to help athletes identify and focus on the personally important factors that motivate them to do well in both school and sport.  
  5. Identity: How to guide athletes to navigate their personal identity development across the different aspects of their lives, including athletic, academic, and social spaces.