As a practicing performance psychologist, I often get asked about how best it is to motivate a group. My answer often starts with a question or two!
“How do you relate to the players? What is it the group dynamic like? Does the management foster a positive social dynamic? Players most often play because they enjoy the sport. They turn up because they enjoy the sport and the challenge it presents.
They turn off it very often due to a poor relational or social dynamic – often fostered by inadequate managerial skills or through weak management facilitating or allowing a vacuum for dissent, player cliques or player unrest.
Stuart Lancaster is considered to have one of the best rugby coaching minds in the world. He has huge experience at the top level of professional rugby and has been involved in numerous successful teams.
He began his coaching career while working as a PE teacher in Kettlethorpe High School in England. The nature of a PE teaching role just naturally draws you into coaching through extra-curricular sports teams. He had plenty of success as a coach across a variety of sports including soccer and cricket at school’s level as well as rugby, the sport for which he became best known.
Sport psychology is often used as a support within a high-performance sporting structure. As its benefits and merits are ever more recognised and respected, some amateur clubs are on the lookout for ways in which they can use such support – often in an ad-hoc capacity. With little knowledge, many are unsure where to go or who to look for to provide such a service.
In fairness, there is very little regulation of the area presently and it is a little bit of a minefield in finding someone that can add value to your team or organisation.