Why Patches Motivate Players

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"The patches are the absolute best motivational tool I have found" Chad, CA

"I am so excited to have found you, I have been paying $1 a patch." April

"We are going to be using the patches as a reward to the Honor Roll Students in. They will receive a different color for each term that they make Honor Roll along with a certificate. The patches are good because the kids can put them on their back packs, jackets, scrapbooks or whatever they choose." Michelle, Mass. Middle School

What is positive reinforcement?

Positive reinforcement is �catching� a child doing something you want them to do and rewarding it. The child gets attention and reward as positive reinforcement for doing the right thing and will focus on repeating that behavior.

So, for example, if you reward a child a patch for providing an assist in a match or training session they will try to repeat the action because of the approval it attracts. Other players will also try to replicate the behavior (the assist) because they want to be rewarded in a similar way.

Children really do want to be 'good' - you just need to make sure you reward them for doing so. This could be a simple "well done" but a more tangible reward - a patch - works even better. Children can take soccer patches home (or to school) where they can show them to their friends and parents.

Why does positive reinforcement work?

Positive reinforcement works because it gives children positive goals to work towards instead of only focusing on negative consequences to avoid. Positive reinforcement fulfills strong basic psychological needs of every child.

It's worth remembering that positive reinforcement works best when it isn't a once-in-a-while thing; the more it happens, the more effective it is.