EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

The new R in SMART goal setting

How you can use rewards to motivate your players.

When we set objectives, as we all know, they have to be SMART.

That means:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed
  • Realistic
  • Time specific

Now scratch out the Realistic – that’s too obvious. Insert Rewards instead.

In other words, there should be something tangible at the end of the achievement. Let’s have a quick look at some good and bad rewards.

GOOD REWARDS

  • Money – win bonuses, money off vouchers.
  • Goods – sponsor’s goodies, meal out at the end of the season, free beer tickets, champagne.
  • Services – free physio, chairman’s car for the weekend, boots cleaned for next week.
  • Stars – sewn on patches.
  • Cups – player of the year, player’s player of the year.
  • Others – pictures up in clubhouse or on website; tie presentations.

BAD REWARDS

  • Money – divisive, expensive, and why are most of our players playing the game anyway? Plus, do you pay some players more than others, what happens to the other players – are they happy to be regarded as less valuable?
  • Goods – as above. Plus the rewards might not always be suitable for the winners e.g. a top athlete with beer vouchers, or a prop with a free haircut.

GOOD PRACTICE

Decide your budget (remember 30 games’ worth of rewards, if you are working on a match by match basis, can add up). Give out a menu of possible rewards to your players to choose which would be most appropriate, and then decide what they might be for.

Small rewards are just as good as big ones (mini Mars Bar as good as a big Mars Bar) – it’s the receiving that’s important.

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