I use behavior management techniques on a daily basis to appropriately influence and direct my athletes. It is important that they act and behave and train themselves to do so in the most positive, efficient, organized and disciplined manner possible. This in turn, I believe, allows them to have the best opportunity to accomplish their goals and experience success on a regular basis. Attempting to modify their behaviors and ways of thinking through reinforcement of positive expectations, which hopefully leads to a more relaxed, controlled and predictive state of behavior, does this. It is important for a coach to be positive and lead in a positive manner on a regular basis, just as it is important for a leisure services professional to do so in order to maintain positive relationships and actions while leading recreational and leisure services activities.
A coach, through the use of specific performance expectations can accomplish significant behavior modifications towards both positive relationships and actions. Promoting and redirecting behavioral patterns and ways of thinking towards positive self-expectancy, positive self-image, positive self-control, positive self-esteem, positive self-direction, and positive self-awareness can achieve optimal positive behavioral modification. A positive coach helps players redefine what it means to be a winner through a mastery of these behavior modifications. He must continually set the example. He sees victory as a by-product of the pursuit of excellence. He focuses on preparation and effort rather than outcome and on learning rather than comparison to others.
He tries to produce an overall attitude of personal optimism and enthusiasm. He recognizes that mistakes are an important and inevitable part of learning and fosters an environment in which players don't fear making mistakes. While not ignoring the teaching opportunities that mistakes present, he teaches players that a key to success is how one approaches a task, either positive and with confidence or in a negative way and with fear and anxiety. He teaches them that it is important to respond to mistakes in a positive way and attempt to learn from them.
He sets standards of continuous improvement for himself and his players. He encourages his players, whatever their level of ability, to strive to become the best players, and people, they can be, and most importantly believe and expect that they can accomplish anything. He teaches players that a winner is someone who makes maximum effort a regularity, continues to learn and improve, and doesn't let mistakes (or fear of mistakes) stop them. Most importantly he teaches them and continually reinforces that the essential quality of a champion is that they are positive and maintain a positive outlook.
A positive coach is a positive motivator who refuses to motivate through fear, intimidation, or shame. He recognizes that every player has emotional tendencies. He understands that compliments, praise, and positive recognition fill emotional gaps and create positive self- esteem. He understands the importance of giving truthful and specific feedback and resists the temptation to give praise that is not warranted.
When correction is necessary, a positive coach communicates criticism to players in ways that don't undermine their sense of self-worth, but motivates them to improve and believe in themselves. A positive coach establishes order and maintains discipline in a positive manner. He listens to players and involves them in decisions that affect the team. He works to remain positive even when things aren't going well. He recognizes that it is often when things go wrong that a coach can have the most lasting impact and can teach the most important lessons.
Even when facing adversity, he refuses to demean himself, his players, or the environment. He always treats athletes with respect, regardless of how well they perform and encourages them to do the same. The bottom line is coaches and leisure services professionals must find a way to modify and manage behaviors in such a way that they create a positive environment so that optimal performance and enjoyment can be accomplished. With all the negativity that young kids are faced with these days, I believe that this is of tremendous importance for a leisure services professional or a coach to be able to influence and redirect these positive modifications on our athletes and participants so that they can maximize their potential and get the most out of every leisure related experience they may have in there lifetime. If we can get them to believe that they are good at what they are doing today and they will be even better tomorrow if they continually see themselves as growing, achieving, improving, winning, and being successful, because it is not who individuals are that holds them back, but who they think they are not..