Friday, March 19, 2010

Keeping the Athlete Focused and Motivated

I am a big believer that those athletes that will have the highest levels and longest successes need to be intrinsically motivated.  However, there are times the coach needs to help the athlete recognize their own motivation or even more likely link a training activity to that motivation.

One of the things that many coaches miss is the art of story telling.  You can tell the athlete why a drill is done based on the biomechanics, rate of force development, transfer effect, blahh, blahhh, blahh...  It has a place and it may get across.

If you want focus, and an athlete that is bought in and training with a purpose, you need to appeal to emotion.  Develop your stories

I read this on and it talks about this very thing.  Although it relates it to marketing, we are marketing our expertise and our training to our athletes everyday.

emotional storytelling

One day, there was a blind man sitting on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet and a sign that read:

"I am blind, please help."

A creative copywriter was walking by and stopped to observe.
He saw that the blind man had only a few coins in his hat.
He dropped in more coins and, without asking for permission, took the sign and rewrote it.

He returned the sign to the blind man and left.  That afternoon the publicist returned to the blind man and noticed that his hat was full of bills and coins.

The blind man recognized his footsteps and asked if it was he who had rewritten his sign
and wanted to know what he had written on it.

The creative responded: "Nothing that was not true. I just wrote the message a little differently." He smiled and went on his way.

The new sign read: "Spring is coming , but I won't see it."

Jacques Prevert, French Poet.

An emotional story.

The key to communications. To Branding. It can be a commercial with humor, an ad with seriousness, a dramatic heartfelt presentation. The most effective communications evoke an emotional response, via storytelling. The challenge is storytelling provokes anxiety in a lot of people.

The rationalist, have a hard time getting comfortable with this. They want to get right to the ROI. Get right to the facts and deliverables. "Facts are facts" rationalist fact lovers interpret those who are not rational in their eyes as the exception rather than the rule.
Storytelling embraces the fact that people are not rational, and touches on emotions to create a persuasive narrative. You cannot put a structured, quantifying structure around storytelling. There is no formal system, no formula to arrive at a compelling, emotive story. Control freaks hate storytelling. It is subjective, and goes deep into emotional areas like love, friendship, trust, fears and dreams. an orbital instead of linear world.
Touch the heart and it gets a stronghold where it will not let go.
Like the wallet.

Heartstrings pull purse strings