The core essence of the Play Better Program seeks to change the innate behavior of our countries youth. Changing the ingrained behavior and mindset of a child is no easy task. But, it can be achieved through rewards. Traditionally, rewards offer an extrinsic motivation because the behavior is motivated by a desire to gain an external reward. But, with the Play Better model the children are actually achieving their goals because they are intrinsically motivated by their chosen cause.
In short, intrinsic motivation is the emotional and personal benefits of a job or task itself, such as personal growth and a sense of accomplishment. Extrinsic rewards are the tangible benefits surrounding a job or task.
When a team or child hits their Play Better metrics they are doing so because they are motivated on an intrinsic level. This can be very powerful. A group of children aren’t trying to hit 200 passes because they want a doughnut after the game. That would simply be an external reward, which has less physiological influence of a child’s mind. Rather than focus on rewards for motivating students’ learning, it is important to focus more on how to facilitate intrinsic motivation. This is what Playing Better achieves. For example, a child is totally committed to achieving his or her metrics because they want to “fix cancer.” They are intrinsically connected to their personal goals and the team’s metrics.
Intrinsic motivation is described as a motivation to engage in activities that enhance or maintain a person’s self-concept. Intrinsically motivating activities may be to gain personal benefits from the job or task. In education, intrinsic motivation should enhance self-motivation, curiosity, interest, and persistence at learning tasks.
When a child is intrinsically motivated it can be very powerful to achieve ones desired goals. Play Better has a goal, and that goal is to develop great coach’s, educate the youth, and produce some pretty good little soccer players along the way. This can be achieved by changing the rewards system.
Let’s call a spade a spade; Canadian soccer today has lost the proverbial plot. We are hell bound on a win-at-all-cost mentality that results in in suffice player development. Hoofing the ball up the park won’t get us to the world cup any day soon. It may keep West Ham in the top flight for a few years but trust me it is no long term solution. The magic of the Play Better program is that we change the metrics though charitable rewards. Charitable rewards which in turn provide intrinsic motivation in the mindset of a child.
I challenge you coaches to change the metrics. I challenge you to see the bigger picture. Let’s educate our youth about something bigger than the score line. Let’s play better and see what happens.
Curious to learn more about Play Better? You find more information at this link:
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Better People. Better Players.