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Using Targeted Symbolic Rewards With Your Athletes

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The "Targeted Symbolic Reward" helps coaches reinforce with athletes the effort and development of character traits they are trying to cultivate. Examples include the "Dirty Shirt" Award for the player who hustles hardest or the "Lunch Pail" or "Hard Hat" Award for the one who works hardest in a given practice or game.

The key is to focus in on an attribute you want your players to exhibit. Then, try to spread the wealth among all your players, as long as you can do so with accompanying specific, truthful praise.

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