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11/06/2020 17:00
Andrija Geric delivers inspirational webinar on motivation
News from the CEV

Luxembourg, June 11, 2020. Olympic and European champion Andrija Geric was the speaker for the second of four webinars organised by the CEV Technical and Development Department to make up for the postponement of the Coaches Convention to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The anticipation was high for this webinar – since with the help of Geric, the attendees would switch their focus from technical-related content to sports psychology.

Since retiring from competitive sport, Andrija has been working with people of all ages – from young kids to athletes likely to make it to the re-scheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The first thing he asked was for participants to think about their favourite coach and write down what was the most important trait or quality that they had. Why was this coach so impactful?

Afterwards, Geric explained the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for an athlete, emphasising why it is more important to develop intrinsic motivation (in other words, self-determination) first for children.
Intrinsic rewards are like for pride/interest/achievement/curiosity, whereas extrinsic rewards have more to do with grades/punishment/praise/money.

To strength self-determination, coaches must nurture a child’s autonomy, competence, and relatedness during trainings:

•    Autonomy: children need to experience self-direction in the initiation and regulation of their behaviour, thus developing their ability to make choices. Therefore, coaches should ask kids to choose when they want to do an exercise, e.g. beginning/middle/end of a training session.
•    Competence: coaches have to encourage and stimulate kids to feel that they are gaining personal growth when participating, seeking out optimal challenges and using strategic thinking to achieve those goals.
•    Relatedness: there is an obvious need to establish close emotional bonds / develop the desire to be emotionally connected for good, healthy relationships.

Andrija displayed a nice chart to categorise four different “personality” types found in everyone, not just athletes. The x-axis is introvert ßà extrovert, and the y-axis is task-oriented ßà people-oriented. The four personality types include the analytical one, the harmonious one, the “driver” and then “social” one.

Besides the personality types, Geric explained the three different brain languages that exist: visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic. These refer to how a person or child thinks and makes connections with their environment. Due to the difference in personality types and brain languages, coaches must be flexible and adaptable in their communication with the kids.

Overall, the duty of a coach working with kids aged 6-12 is to make them become good/better people, ensuring that they feel loved, accepted, and respected to get the best motivation from them. Praising effort over results is key!  

The Q&A session at the end included questions on the use of more sports psychology methods in practices, the opinion on parents being present at trainings, how to push kids to be brave enough to try without being afraid of making mistakes and at what age it is appropriate to start pushing more focus on results than effort.

“It was another great webinar. Many useful and beneficial things came out from Andrija’s experience,” said Nikolas Nikolaou from Cyprus, one of the attendees. “I especially liked the phrase “As coaches, we should praise the effort, and NOT the RESULT.”

“It has been an absolute pleasure to attend the webinars with Kristof [De Loose] and Andrija, they have not only transmitted their fascinating knowledge and passion for the development of the sport but they have also provided a new and exciting perspective on coaching school Volleyball. I am really looking forward to applying some of their creative concepts to my coaching,” added Aitana Verdú from Scotland.

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