Small rewards make an enormous amount of difference to players (of all ages). It doesn’t have to be the MVP trophy either, sometimes a candy bar is all they need
The beauty of sweets is that a small bar of chocolate or candy can be used to encourage even the weakest player who perhaps has tried the hardest. Try these three simple tips to help your team feel wanted.
1 Have only one or two rewards for each week. Share the rewards throughout the season (and try to keep a record).
2 Make the rewards for different skills each week, for example best defender, hardest worker in drills, best free throw shooter – in this way you can pass the rewards around and avoid seeming to favor the same “star” player.
3 Another idea is to create a small trophy for “Player of the Week”, “Practice Star” or a “Best Effort” award for the player, not necessarily the most talented, but someone who has put in the greatest amount of work during a practice or training session.
Recognizing the achievements of one your weaker players in this way proves to be a great incentive for the other less talented players.
“Recognize and reward players who put the team first, not just the gifted ones.” Don Meyer, 923 career victories