Motivating kids

  1. #1

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    Motivating kids

    How do you go about motivating kids to come to the weight room. Have tried the rewards from time to time which seems to work, but still need something else. If we had 50-60 kids on our team, could "cut" but can't do that, we are a small school and numbers aren't in our favor?
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    If the kids want to win, they will be there. It all starts with the seniors though. Sit down the seniors and tell them to take charge in getting the younger kids in there.

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    Technically and legally, you can't make off season lifting mandatory (if after school), especially for those kids that play multiple sports. However, I heard somebody say once upon a time that "Lifting is optional, but so is your playing time." The kids get the message. Even kids that play multiple sports, they need to lift and have to lift if they want that extra edge up. I'm not sure I would cut even with 50-60 kids. I don't agree with cutting kids at all that want to play football. And, what I mean by "cut" is, dismissing them if they don't bring anything to the table. Now, if they are a turd and can't get with the program both academically and when it comes to behavior, then 'See ya-bye'.

    It's frustrating for sure. What I have learned from many is that instead of wasting time worrying about the kids that don't want to be there in the off-season, focus on the kids that are there, wanting to improve themselves individually and for the team. Those hard heads that aren't doing what it takes will wind up doing one or two things, 1) Realize they need to work harder or 2) Quit because they physically can't get the job done when the season rolls around, and their butts are sitting on the pine.

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    Weight Lifting Class.

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    Saw this on a 60 Minutes or 20/20 type of show, but can't remember where the school was. Most HS teams have "generic" uniforms (school name or mascot name, plus the number), but, when they showed this team on the sideline during a game, there were some that actually had the players last name on the back of the uniform. The coach said only the ones that put in the time during the offseason (and I'm assuming the weight room was part of that) EARNED the right to have their name on the uniform. Said the kids that did it, felt it was like a badge of honor, because everyone (fellow players, other students, parents and fans) knew what it stood for.

    Obviously there's be some minor costs to have names put on two sets of uniforms. But, it might be worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CincySportsFan View Post
    Saw this on a 60 Minutes or 20/20 type of show, but can't remember where the school was. Most HS teams have "generic" uniforms (school name or mascot name, plus the number), but, when they showed this team on the sideline during a game, there were some that actually had the players last name on the back of the uniform. The coach said only the ones that put in the time during the offseason (and I'm assuming the weight room was part of that) EARNED the right to have their name on the uniform. Said the kids that did it, felt it was like a badge of honor, because everyone (fellow players, other students, parents and fans) knew what it stood for.

    Obviously there's be some minor costs to have names put on two sets of uniforms. But, it might be worth it.
    It's probably just me, but I don't like that idea at all.

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    sidelinedoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram View Post
    Weight Lifting Class.
    Or.........you could have a weightlifting class. What do you think, Ram?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CincySportsFan View Post
    Saw this on a 60 Minutes or 20/20 type of show, but can't remember where the school was. Most HS teams have "generic" uniforms (school name or mascot name, plus the number), but, when they showed this team on the sideline during a game, there were some that actually had the players last name on the back of the uniform. The coach said only the ones that put in the time during the offseason (and I'm assuming the weight room was part of that) EARNED the right to have their name on the uniform. Said the kids that did it, felt it was like a badge of honor, because everyone (fellow players, other students, parents and fans) knew what it stood for.

    Obviously there's be some minor costs to have names put on two sets of uniforms. But, it might be worth it.
    The school that does this is South Panola High School in Batesville, Mississippi. They had an 89 game win streak and have won 8 state titles since 1993. While this works for them, they are in a larger school district that can afford to purchase the jerseys with names on the back.

    You can do a similar idea with t-shirts that signify participation in the weight program.

    We always post weight lifting attendance numbers publicly so that everyone that comes into the weight room can see who is putting in the work. We also post the lift records for the current team near those attendance numbers- kids see the connection.

    One idea that I have also seen in the player contract. There is one here: http://www.coachteed.com/freedl/Coaching%20Aides/ Look for the document Contract of team commitment.xls. It is an example that you could use.

    You could also call up the coaches at the best programs in the state (T, X, Highlands, Boyle, Lex Cath, Mayfield, etc.) and ask them what their numbers look like for weight lifting. Then, communicate this to your kids and use this to tell them how important the weight room is.

    I'm just trowing out some ideas.

  9. #9

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    What about some type of off-season competition? Breaking guys down into teams (maybe captains can pick?) and having multiple things they can earn points for. The payoff would be a team dinner at the end of camp-week (or another time). Winners get steak & potatoes, everyone else gets hot-dogs & hamburgers. Winners get to drink water first until camp week is over, stuff like that. Maybe weightlifting could be the biggest part, but I also thought of maybe 40 times, shuttle times, off-season camp participation points, community service (maybe like a team cleanup of a road, points for for much trash each team collects).

    If your team was not successful last season, what about pulling up random scores & stats from the games. A whole off-season cannot be focused on one or two opponents, but some focus on a rival team they lost to may help some with motivation to come to weight lifting and put in work. I would try to make it to where players forgot about skipping weightlifting because they didn't want to work, and instead focused on coming to weightlifting because of the payoff during the season and the fact they don't want to let their teammates down.

    Weightlifting class would be great, but every school will not go for that. It would be great if they would though . I think every school should have atleast a 40 minute period at the end of the day where students get to do something extra-curricular, be it sports, band, drama, or just use the computers to research.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidelinedoc View Post
    Or.........you could have a weightlifting class. What do you think, Ram?
    Tomato, tomoto. But, I am for a class where lifting of weights take place.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by born2reign View Post
    The school that does this is South Panola High School in Batesville, Mississippi. They had an 89 game win streak and have won 8 state titles since 1993. While this works for them, they are in a larger school district that can afford to purchase the jerseys with names on the back.

    You can do a similar idea with t-shirts that signify participation in the weight program.

    We always post weight lifting attendance numbers publicly so that everyone that comes into the weight room can see who is putting in the work.
    Thank you B2R! I thought it was a school from down south, but couldn't remember the name.

    As I said in my original post, obviously there's some costs involved with putting names on jerseys. But, I think the reason that it works for them(perhaps more so than just t-shirts, or names posted on a wall) is the fact that during game-day, EVERYONE knows. You can look down from the stands and see exactly who has put in the off-season work.

    So, working off of that same line of thinking, could you instead just have patches (image of school mascot maybe?) sewn on shirt sleeves? (Don't know if this would violate any uniform codes, though.) Or what about stickers for the helmet? Again, just tossing ideas out there.

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    Weight lifting is one thing that anyone can excell and improve at. Some can try all they want and can never become a quarterback, and some kids you can throw the ball too all day and they will never consistantly catch it. But weightlifting is the one constant that every individual can do and improve at. We live in an instant gradification society, so set up your program to get immediate results within weeks and let the kids see their improvement. Group your players together wisely so that they will compete with each other with similar weight. Group up and coming players together will veterans to kind of welcome them to varsity football. Group the good players that worry you to death with trust worthy players so that they may rub off on them. Make them feel good about how their body is changing and how impressive they look in the mirror. Weight lifting is about getting into the teenage mind and shaping it to become a Friday Night Warrior.

  13. #13

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    Using positive reinforcement (not necessarily rewards) along with successive approximation is a good technique to shape someone's behavior. The positive reinforcement can be "atta boys" from coaches and fellow players. Like the suggestion above, start with the seniors and get everybody encouraging everybody. Non-tangible rewards can be quite powerful. Names and special gear help too. At Mason County we have "Pride Gear". Players earn their Pride Gear through hard work. Once the coaches feel a player has put forth the effort, the player gets shirt, short and sweats with their number on it along with "Mason County Pride" (I think). No one else is allowed to wear a players Pride Gear, not girlfriends, parents, etc. If a coach sees someone wearing your Pride Gear, he takes it back.

    Here's a good article on sports motivation.

    http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/sport-motivation.htm

    Successive approximation is simply rewarding any approximation, any movement in the direction of what we wanted. Each time the behavior should be a little closer to what is wanted.

  14. #14

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    Sadly there are alot of districts that don't have the in school weightlifting. I understand the issues trying to get kids to lift. There have been many things brought up, but it just takes a lot of work. I like the idea of giving the kids goals, using the charts so they can see their improvements. In the end you just have to be firm and if don't lower the expectations.

  15. #15

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    Make it a competition. Divide the kids into groups just like is done during the season and challenge them to be the best. Work hard up to a point and make it a big deal top get stronger. Develop a system of how to determine the winner. Have each group produce a winner and then have an overall winner. Post it in the locker room and weight room. People love to compete, make it a game and let them have fun. competition brings out the best in people and attendance will go up, and most importantly it will show on the field.

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