Are You Making Any Of These 5 Common Mistakes?

Are You Making Any Of These 5 Common Mistakes When Motivating Athletes?

The other day I was reading an article talking about the biggest mistakes sports coaches make when trying to motivate athletes.

I can’t remember where I saw the article, but I can remember 5 of the key points.

And want to share them with you today and show you how to avoid making the same mistakes.

Here are the 5 common mistakes coaches make:

#1 – Being too harsh and negative to try and “toughen them up”

#2 – Being too nice to try and become their friend so they work harder for you

#3 – Not having faith or believing in the athlete

#4 – Correcting wrong, but NEVER praising right

#5 – Not having the humility to get help or to educate themselves

There were a few others on the list, but I feel these five are the most important.

Here’s how to avoid these mistakes:

You’ve got to find a balance between being too nice and too negative.

You’re their coach.

Not their friend.

It’s your responsibility to hold players accountable.

And it’s your responsibility to believe in each athlete so you can coach them to become the best athlete they are capable of becoming.

But in a way that breaks bad habits without breaking their spirit.

My favorite technique for this uses the “Sandwich Method”.

It works like this:

Sandwich every negative between two positives.


You’ve noticed your athlete hasn’t been giving 100% over the last few sessions.

Rather than calling them out directly, which can break their spirit…

Find two things they’ve being doing well and deliver like this:

Praise ⇒ Negative ⇒ Praise

This is important because you don’t know the reason they haven’t been giving 100% – It could be family issues, bullying or anything.

In these cases, being too hard only makes it worse.

#5 is the biggest mistake coaches make…

Not knowing when to get help or when to educate themselves.


Coaching basketball isn’t just about physical skills and shooting hoops. You’re also playing an important role in the young athlete’s life. You have a duty – in my opinion – to inspire, motivate and get the best out of each player in both basketball and life.

This means you have to understand how to connect with and motivate athletes.

You have to understand the nuances of working with kids from different backgrounds, broken homes and conditions like ADD.

You have to understand child psychology to some degree.

These are all the extra things that hardly any coach thinks about.

But it’s going the extra mile and getting help to master these “other things” that separates average to good coaches from the great ones.

When you do educate yourself, you’ll connect with your athletes more and build stronger coach-player relationships.

They’ll trust you more, buy in and develop a stronger work ethic and discipline.

Because you know how to reach them in a way they can relate to.

While still maintaining the strict boundary between coach-player so you can hold them accountable.

If you do want to get help or educate yourself, there are unlimited resources online that can help you build a basic knowledge on the “other things”.

Or if you’d like to work with me and my team so we can show you how to implement all this with your players and team, then I’d like to invite you to book a call with Mihai on the page below:


Keep Getting After It


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