This article was provided by Coaches Network
Fundamental skills are the foundation of each sport, but it can be difficult to make them exciting. In order for athletes to take their performance to the next level, they need to master the fundamentals of their sport, which often takes continuous work. You can take steps to prevent this important part of training from being boring. An article on Coachup.com provides strategies for getting your athletes excited about the basics.
When athletes see the value in learning the fundamentals they are likely to excel quicker than those who find it boring or are simply going through the motions. One of the first ways to motivate your athletes to work on the basics is by explaining to them that true progress is made when no one is looking. If they have an internal drive to improve, they are much more likely to put in the time, focus, and effort into every aspect of the sport.
Today’s professional athletes are often admired for the spectacular things they can do with their bodies. Though they are great at showing off their advanced skills, it is their mastery of the fundamentals that allows them to do so. Young athletes look up to these professionals and want to emulate their talent as quickly as possible, but to do that, they have to trust and fall in love with the process. Practicing the more advanced skills can be valuable, but it’s also essential to build a proper foundation.
One of the best ways to get athletes to focus on the basics is through 1-on-1 training. But this isn’t always realistic for team coaches who have to train the fundamentals in a large group. In order to get your entire team motivated and excited to work on basic skills, consider using these training strategies:
- Incorporate fun games that focus on the core aspects of the sport. By adding an element of competition, athletes will be more likely to get excited and show sustained interest in their training. Make sure that the games are simple and inclusive so that everyone on the team, no matter their skill level, has a chance to participate and work on their skills.
- Set specific goals for each practice to hold your athletes accountable. Whether that means each person has to make a certain number of shots, complete a certain amount of passes, or run a specified distance, these goals brings an added level of motivation to each training session. Completing these goals can be woven into other practice activities so that training does not become monotonous.
- When having your athletes complete a specific fundamental exercise, time them and track their progress. This can motivate them to either compete against themselves and continually decrease their time, or compete against each other. Either way, this adds another element of competition while also showing them their progress. When athletes see themselves getting better they will be more motivated to continue working hard.
- Provide incentives for giving a full effort and completing a drill with perfect fundamental technique. Promising to reward your athletes with a rest day or a fun activity if they work hard is a great way to motive them through what might be a boring fundamental drill. Try to come up with creative ways to incentivize them so that they will continually be pushed to focus on the basics.
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