How to Use Symbolism of Patches to Motivate Players

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The patches really work to motivate players and students. You will also be amazed at the difference they make in your players attitude, enthusiasm and play. Read Testimonials and Letters from Coaches Who Use Patches to Motivate Players

Below are ideas from coaches who use the patches. They are how I would use the patches to motivate my players. You can change them to fit your team or to fit your sport. Our patches have been used to motivate all ages, and for all sports and other activities. Parents have the Star patches to motivate their children.

Teamwork -- All of our patches are in a circle. The circle has symbolism world-wide and has been an important symbol for centuries. On SoccerHelp patches, the circle represents the team. It is a reminder that the players are within the team, and that the team holds us together, and that every player should remember that he or she is part of the team.

Lightning Bolt -- The Lightning Bolt Patch™ has additional symbolism that you can use to motivate your players and teach them the importance of teamwork. The patch has 2 "Bolts", each identical and both equal... these symbolize offense and defense, and the fact that offense and defense are equally important. The 2 Bolts are held together by a middle, which in soccer represents the midfield, and both Bolts touch the Circle, which represents the team, so the entire design is connected, and each part is necessary.

Big D for Defense Patch -- A bold, tough, intimidating D for defense. A "D" with an "I'm Not Going to Give Up a Goal" attitude. This D reminds defenders of the attitude you want them to have. Defense wins games, and this patch reminds everyone of the importance of the "Big D". It's within a circle, which represents the team, but not touching the circle, because sometimes the defender must stand alone to stop the opponent from scoring. It's in blood red...the toughest, bravest color. As Darrell Royal the famous U.S. football coach said: "You never lose a game if the opponent doesn't score." Use this D Patch to motivate players to play the way they SHOULD play. Give them all a D to start the season and tell them the attitude you want them to have. Use this patch to inspire and motivate your defenders individually and as a team. Then when they do something great, give them another one to reward them. I suggest giving these for great individual play, because that's what is necessary for great defense. Everyone can be in position, but someone has to be brave and stop the attacker or use their body to block the shot. I would give them for bravery and using their body to block shots. You definitely want your defenders to be brave and tough... use these patches to encourage that. You can also use it to encourage Forwards and Midfielders to be tough defenders and to steal the ball. If you can get your Forwards to steal back the ball after they have lost it in your Attacking Third, that will result in some goals, and that aggressive behavior is something that is hard to teach. I really wish I had had this patch when I coached because I think it would have helped me motivate my players to do things I wanted them to do.

V for Victory Patch --A memorable Victory Patch in Red, White and Blue colors. It's important to celebrate and relish your victories, and this patch does that. This is a patch that everyone on the team would get, because it takes a team effort to win. I suggest giving this patch at the end of the game in a ceremony where all the parents are gathered around, and talk about the importance of teamwork, hustle, practicing, defense, bravery and playing hard. Personally give the patch to each player one at a time and congratulate them.... this is very effective when done in front of the entire team and parents. DON'T use this time to criticize or correct mistakes ... ONLY focus on the positive and savoring the's an opportunity to create special memories and to emphasize the qualities that win games such as hustle, aggressive play, practicing, bravery, tough defense and teamwork.... it's also an opportunity to take a positive, encouraging approach to motivate your players, and to build their self-esteem and their confidence that they can win and that they are winners. It's okay to lose if you've played hard, been brave and done your best, but it's more fun to win, and we all want our kids to want to win. As Knute Rockne said "The secret is to work less as individuals and more as a team." And as Vince Lombardi said "People who work together will win", and "Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence." and "Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing."

Lucky Shamrock Patch -- Everyone can use some good luck. This patch is a 4-leaf clover, which is also called a Shamrock. We all know that attitude and preparation have a lot to do with our "luck", but I'll never turn down good luck and we all know that the bounce of the ball can determine the outcome of a game. This is a cute, happy patch and you feel good when you look at it. You might even do an Irish jig when you give these out. We all know that attitude is very important. If you feel good and feel lucky, maybe you will be lucky.... at the least you will be happier. You might want to give this at the start of your season or whenever you feel your team needs cheering up or an attitude boost. You can also use it to discuss how your attackers must take advantage of opportunities, and how you can make your own luck by practicing hard and playing hard.

The "A" for Attitude and Effort Patch -- Everyone knows an "A" is a good thing. It's the highest grade and everyone would like to be on the A team. The A patch can be given as an A for Effort, Attitude, Achievement or Aggressive Play. Everyone wants their children and their team to do their best.... to give their best effort and to have a good attitude. This patch symbolizes that. Every coach knows that attitude and effort go hand-in-hand. If your team gives their all and plays their hardest, they might win, but even if they lose you will be proud of them and they aren't losers. But if they don't try and have a bad attitude, they will probably lose in sports and in life. As a coach you can help your players learn the importance of a good attitude and of giving their best effort. This patch is a reward for a good attitude and for effort. To quote Vince Lombardi: "Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man. Sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can." and "It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up again." Pat Riley said "Great effort springs naturally from a great attitude." As Lou Holtz said: "Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." The A Patch is in blood red...the toughest, bravest color, and like all of our patches, it's within a circle, which symbolizes the team. I suggest giving this patch to players for attitude and effort, win or lose. If your players have a good attitude and give their best effort, you will be proud of them, win or lose. Of course, your team will win more games if they have a good attitude and give their best effort, but win or lose you will be proud and they will be winners. I think this patch would be given for individual effort, not for team effort. Hopefully, by the end of the season, every player would have earned several "A" patches for effort, attitude and aggressive play.