Motivation moves bodies
Why do we play games? and how do we actually produce mindful practice. Aside from engaging your creativity to invent a new and exciting purpose driven game, the most difficult thing to do when teaching is to motivate your participants. The best way for someone to learn or get better at something is for that person to WANT to do it, and to be internally motivated to actually work hard at practicing something. Our goal as swim instructors and as swim teachers is to give and produce that motivation within our swimmers. Playing games are a good way to create momentary sideways motivation. Generally participants want to succeed in challenging games. Most people want to do well, and if we craft our games in an interesting, challenging, yet appropriate and achievable way, our participants will be motivated to do well in them.
We can motivate our participants a few ways:
- Visual demonstration and engraving. If we make our goals clear, concise, and achievable, and our participants are able to visually see what we want them to achieve, they’ll be more likely to both understand what we’re asking and be motivated to attempt it. They will say to themselves, “Oh, i can do that!” If we give our swimmers a good example they can see that end goal, and know it is something they could eventually do. By engraving, I mean this very thing. The swimmer or participant can see themselves doing the goal and therefore that visualization inside their head from their perspective makes that goal more achievable.
- Create a connection with your swimmers. Swim instructors that are engaged with their class, that know their participant’s names, and are excited to be there create connections. They are the teachers that their participants talk about at school and to other people. When our swim instructors smile at their participants and are full of energy and excitement, joyful and happy, our swimmers succeed at faster rates and improve better. When we have dour faced and grumpy swim staff our lessons suffer and the participants are less likely to do challenging new things. Create an emotional connection, and you’ll have an opportunity to motivate your swimmers, and get results.
1) Fill your practices with goal minded activities.
2) Every action in practice/lessons should have a clear goal.
3) Play games to teach.
4) Motivate your participants to get results.
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