Mind Over Sports

CAN A COACH MOTIVATE AN ATHLETE?

Posted on: February 24, 2013

It’s often said that some coaches are great motivators. In fact, after some NFL and College coaches retire they are able to earn a substantial amount of money traveling around the country speaking to large groups, presenting themselves as “motivational speakers.” But this is actually a hoax. Nothing could be further from the truth. No one can motivate another person. Inspire, yes. But true motivation can only come from within and I’ve found that the higher an individual’s feelings of self worth (or self-esteem) the greater his or her motivation. There’s no way a coach can motivate an athlete who is harboring ill feelings about himself or herself, and these “feelings” could be because of unresolved issues going on in the athlete’s personal life. Those retired coaches who are speaking to groups around the country should be identifying themselves as “Inspirational speakers” not “motivational speakers.” I’ve heard some great inspirational speakers. But the problem with inspirational speakers is it really doesn’t last long. Within 24 hours I am seldom able to remember what they said.

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