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Motivating others is sometimes a challenge:a discussion with Sean Scott


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014 Motivating your family, friends and colleagues to take part in a sport, activity or hobby is something we all have to do. None more so than parents with older children, teenagers, who are in their development phase and simply not as motivated to get out and possibly push themselves. 

Sean Scott is an experienced sports coach, very successful athlete and has spent over twenty years previously in the armed forces leading and directing teams in all forms of activities and excursions.  

Today Sean shares his thoughts on how to keep your family motivated relating to his role as a Dad to his two now older children.  Sean advisees about keeping the activity fun, achievable and rewarding. 

Sean Scott
Sean Scott - Succesful coach, leader and outdoor fanatic

Podcast transcription 

 Sean  0:00  
You have to get a real balance. And you’ll never get there always be somebody better, quicker, faster, stronger. And so I think as an individual, you need to understand your own your inability, but I think as a leader or a coach, or a parent, for sure, you know, making sure that that individual feels comfortable, comfortable within that environment within that team that in that circumstances, and that, that that’s really important. And you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t shy away from that, and don’t take it for granted.
John Campbell  0:32  
Welcome to the inspired enactive podcast. This is where we offer hints and tips and advice on being more active and connected to the outdoors. This is where we interview inspirational guests to share their their focus and their ideas. And this is where we really want to try and work with you and give you help to be more confident as a parent and as a, as a coach, to your children and others to help develop them to be the best that they can be. My name is John Campbell. I’m a coach and a parent of four. And I want to show and share and discuss ideas with you. To help us all make a small difference in this world today. We want to kind of encourage the appreciation of what’s around us. Hope you enjoyed the podcast, and let’s get into the composition. Hello, welcome to another inspired and active podcast. It’s great to be back today. And I’ve got a good friend Sean Scott’s to share the microphones with me. Hi, Sean.
Sean  1:31  
Hi, john how are you doing.
John Campbell  1:33  
Yep, now. And today, the subject we really want to talk about is motivation. Last week, we talked about confidence. And this week, I really want to talk about motivation. And there’s nobody I know better than Sean to motivate and to encourage from young to old people to get something done. So, Sean, can you give us just a bit of your background?
Sean  1:54  
Yeah, sure. So as john said, Sean Scott, and quite quite an outdoor enthusiast have also been in the military for just those are 2020 to 23 years. And then a number of different sports and been involved in a number of different groups. From a self perspective, so individually competing, and so looking at self sort of motivation piece, and then also quite a bit of coaching and leadership skills as well. So yeah, quite a quite quite a sort of varied backgrounds.
But I think if I was to class myself,
I as anyhting now. And alongside coach, I’d say, you know, big, big in the outdoor and adventurous within enthusiastic sort of arena.
John Campbell  2:43  
And then also your family a very following in your footsteps, I would say in terms of this a family man.
Sean  2:50  
Yeah. So certainly, if you look at it as a as a young family, and from the from the age of the sort of the children were old enough to go in there and opossums that used to carry on on the back, we would take them on all the weekend, camping trips, Hill trips, and canoeing trips, anything that we could find a week, we could sort of take the children on, which is pretty much most most activities, really. And it’s never changed. I mean, certainly is now 22, Bradley, and a is 20. And even when Karen and I will go up and do things a weekend, you know, the children will join us more than often, and turn it around. And they’re definitely following the same sort of footsteps.
John Campbell  3:36  
And how did you find that whole kind of motivating the children as they went through the the age groups? Obviously, you said you took them out when they’re young? Did they come to a stage that they didn’t want to go out?
Sean  3:47  
Yeah, I think it was, it was it was quite tricky, we noticed quite a different change in sort of dynamics, between probably the age going on from 13 onwards, and where I think they had that they have a lot of choices in front of them. So we try to introduce as many as many sports as we could, and certainly as many different sort of outdoor sports and activities, just to sort of give them that option. Because I think with motivation is really keys, you know, what may take yourself to be motivated is something very different for others. And just because you’re a parent, you know, you like climbing, it doesn’t mean that your your children are going to like climbing but you know, if it’s something within that arena, and I think between those ages of 13 onwards, it became even more more important to make sure we gave them exposure to all the different activities. And as a real example, Bradley was a keen, keen rugby individual and, and and he was really, really quite big into sort of hockey. And and when you look at how they were motivated to do those two individual sports, and it was very driven by Team cohesion, what they could be part of Have them individually, they have very different drivers. So Bradley through for university wanted to come out as a pro runner, and have that option in front of him. And, but then we exposed him to, or I expose him to glow events. And then we we did quite a few UK trips. And then we did an Alpine trip. And he came back and I completely changed his perspective. But I didn’t, I didn’t influence that. And it was all down to his self motivation. And very similar with an A as well. And I think between the male and female, that there are some artists, but again, it can be quite quite different to what makes them tick. So I think between the age of sort of 12, and 15, which I think is a real challenge to get people motivated is for me was really exposing them that Karen and I could expose them to as many different sports as possible, and then finding what was sort of really make them tick. And I think as well, at that age, it’s really quite difficult to keep them focused. And there are a lot of distractions, and a lot of new groups forming going into different schools, different year groups. And again year on year that that does start to sort of start to change.
John Campbell  6:16  
And were there any times in that? Do you think with with Anae and Bradley that you find it difficult to motivate them? Because like the key eight or 13 or 15, that you they want to spend longer in bed, they want to spend longer different people on computers and game stations? How did you find it?
Sean  6:37  
So I found out probably get, probably get kicked off all three of them that I found. And if you are quite spontaneous and spontaneous about how you did some activities, which are worked for us, one thing they always used to say to our dads does is going to plan again, you know, dads, here’s the plan coming for the weekend. And that would start to sort of get there that there’s sort of a thought process going on why they possibly wouldn’t want to do it. Whereas if you just on a Friday evening or a Saturday morning said right, it’s good weather, let you know, let’s go Connor, it’s great. Let’s get up a hill. So it’s good again, co everything’s ready, get your boots on, let’s go. And, and I found that worked really well and certainly worked very, very well with with an A, and again, that they’re very, very different in what motivated them. I think sometimes you can, you can really put that thought in there too early. And that’s what we found. But I think on the on the opposite end of that when you found what makes him tick planting that seed early on in the week to say, hey, look, it’s going to be great weather the weekend, knowing previously, they probably took more to canoeing or climbing or just out generally walking or you know, something along those lines, planting it really early. If he if you know, that’s what makes them motivated. Putting it in the weekend as an activity, then, you know, all the way through the week looking forward to it, and it completely takes any distractions away.
John Campbell  8:06  
And did you find you had to any persuasion techniques in this? Was there any kind of kind of if you do this will give you that type?
Sean  8:17  
Yep. I think so. I mean, in Scotland is it’s got to be finished and still is now finished with coffee cake for sure. And I think that’s sort of really good. But I think when you are looking at trying trying to offer them something, I think, now on reflection, you know, what you’re looking at what the individual can sort of get back from it. And we sort of tend to say that, you know, remember how good you felt last time, you may not feel, you know, pretty miserable out, you know, it’s trying to remind them of when they were really positive on future activity and saying, let’s just remember what it was like last time. And then making making it quite light hearted, used to work sort of quite well for us to say, yeah, you remember, we finish that they absolutely drenched, you know, in a river crossing at the end, but at no massive bit of cake. And, you know, we had a fantastic day. So I think just just really for me it was it was tying in the activities that the children are going to weaken as a family and then linking it to the adventure piece, you know, not making it too rudely or too strict.
John Campbell  9:27  
Ya know that that kind of kind of segues nicely into thinking about going past the family and looking at your your kind of experience of coaching athletes, which you have done many years of and even further back in your military. How does motivation, where’s the commonality and motivation across all the space because whether you’re in the military or you’re an athlete, or your teenage 16 year old, there must be similarities. Yeah, to get to get them out there. Get them doing what The objective is,
Sean  10:01  
yeah, and I think I think for me, the sort of parallels that you get in all three of those sort of areas is, is the leadership style, and pace. So you will always get individuals, you know, within a group or, you know, small groups, large groups, you always get a sort of one or two individuals that you can point out straightaway. And they clearly, you know, that the barriers come up, they don’t want to do it. And, and that could be for a number of reasons, it could be that they don’t feel they’re capable. And it could feel that they, they don’t want to be part of that group, or they have it, they have a fear, potentially, from sort of previous experiences, I think some of the parallels is all about your approach. So if you can be if you can inspire the children, you know, to be to be active, and you can come across motivated and enthusiastic. And, again, really keep it light hearted. You know, I think sometimes as a sort of parents and leaders and coaches, we can come across all of it too serious. So I think if I was to give any, you know, sort of advice on the back of what I’ve learned, and working across the three different sort of areas, I would say that that approach is, is really key, and then just enticing them to just just have a go. I think recognize your audience as well. And certainly, I’ve noticed this within athletics. You know, when you look at a group of 10, to 15, athletes, you’ve got a really broad spectrum there of capabilities. And also, how long people have been doing this fall, I think, is really key to understand, you know, that the people in there that are probably showing, showing a few sort of nerves early on, and probably need that little bit of extra sort of motivational thought process and coaching to start that sort of activity. But I think for me, it’s really it’s keeping it nice and light hearted making it feel fun. Because I think sometimes, you know, we can, we can make it far too serious. And remember, if you’re doing I certainly have something I picked out within the military, is that you may have a group of 10 to 15 people sit in front of you. And they’ll always be one person or two people that think Yeah, okay, I’ve got this, I’m going to smash it, you know, I’m at the front here, this is easy. But then you’ve got the people, you know, the gray people that actually really apprehensive about what you’re about to do. So I think for me, it’s also allowing those people to make sure they understand they can add value, you know, they can get a lot out of this, and they go at their own pace. And you know, because you can’t you can’t match everybody. So yeah, keep keep keep it light. Think about your style. Think about how you want to come across and how you’re potentially going to be perceived. And because I think as soon as you’re too serious, they potentially relate that to something that they don’t want to do. And the negativity comes out.
John Campbell  12:45  
And do you think you mentioned in there about kind of mindset, do you think there is a real thing about I see with athletes who, and just general teenagers who have got a fixed mindset, who just want to be in their comfort zone, and do want to be shownup and up against others who have got a real growth mindset, who are happy to feel happy to give it a go. And there’s a definite difference in how those two groups will act in terms of trying to motivate them. Because if you ask someone with a fixed mindset, to go and do something, they might be quite reticent to do it. Because they don’t want to be seen to fail when someone with a growth mindset. So I’ll give it a go. If you fail I learned something. I did you just see. Have you seen that?
Unknown Speaker  13:37  
Yes. , certainly seen that a lot. And I think this is where you will also see some people’s competitive edge come out a lot more, which again, you know, if someone’s got a competitive edge that’s normally comes in tandem with sort of some great confidence. But again, that can really diminish, you know, other people’s motivation, because they have an apprehension of doing it in front of the group. So, you know, I think if you can establish the sort of ground rules early on, you know, and almost sort of manage manage the groups, you know, and just watch the behaviors, watch the watch, where people are sort of stepping to the front. And you don’t want to pick that personality, right, you come forward, you You go first. So you want to, you know, you want to throw sort of try and temporary but I think just to not put the confident ones first always sort of helps because it allows us to the sort of person that’s probably sat in the background, get some confidence, watching somebody who’s medium, having a go and probably making a bit of mistake. But I think for me, again, it goes back to just putting everybody at ease to say, hey, doesn’t matter. You could go to these 10 hurdles, and every single one of them will fold out, and it doesn’t matter. You know, if you so long as you get through them, then we can build on this. But I think it’s just getting people to make those sort of first steps and I think that is no good. than to, you know, taking a family for the first time, you know, out into the, to the outdoors. And, you know, we see it a lot of a lot of the time, we’ve seen a huge amount of pair just recently with people camping. And, you know, it’s been relaxed in the fact that you’re going out and you’re putting a tent up for the first time, you know, and, of course, nobody wants to be that sort of parent that says I can’t get the 10 top and the kids will be frustrated and failed, because they won’t have done it. It’s just saying, you know, this, this could be absolute Carnage, but let’s go for it, let’s have a go put the tent up, let’s try not get it and get soaking wet at the same time, let’s all figure it out. And you know, everybody’s got a got a bit of value that they can add towards that sort of that that key objective. And I think that, again, motivates people to want to sort of get involved, irrespective of what sort of group team or individual sort of activity that they do it, but you will always get the absolute right, you will always get the people that you know, step forward first, and we used to sit in the military all the time. And and again, you just got to sometimes really, really measure that.
John Campbell  16:08  
And know that that’s, that’s really interesting. And how about goal setting and actually giving people targets as that motivational if you said, right, you have to be able to run the speed or claim those hills within the next x weeks or however you’re going about being realistic with goals when you’ve got such a diverse can arrange of individuals in front of you.
Sean  16:33  
And so I think for me, I learned this sort of really early on so and I competed in whitewater racing, canoeing from a very early age. And my my goal was to be the UK champion under 18. But I’ve been told that was my goal from the age hungry sort of 16. So, you know, that was the only thing was in my sights. And I always always thought that that was way beyond anything I could possibly even get close to. And I found that quite a deep motivation. Because anything else apart from gigging get into this mantle of achievement, to me was just discounted. So I think, and I learned a lot from that. And then all throughout all the way through sort of through life so far. And I would say if you’re going to set people’s goals, first of all, you’ve got to give them the techniques and the basic capabilities to better achieve it. But I think then you’ve got to have that engagement with with the with the individual and say, Okay, what would you like to set? What do you think is an achievable goal? And if you know, they can make a sale, I could run this in three and a half minutes. Okay, so I think he could as well for sure. But let’s go for 310. You know, and just just see how it goes. I think we’re too quick sometimes to say, you know, what, what we want someone to achieve? I think, without that engagement, you then it’s a demotivator definitely, I think, you know, the individual has to feel they can achieve it, and then you can stretch it slightly. And, you know, if people are sort of, you know, worried about having that confidence where the goal that you want them to achieve, the first thing they’ll do, I think, from my experience is look at somebody else and say, well, that individual over there is probably going to go a minute quicker than me. So again, you end up taking their focus away from their own goal, rather than concentrating themselves. I think that initially engagement and understanding what they want to achieve, then just stretch it slightly. But I think if you can get a mutual agreement that then you are 90% of the way there
John Campbell  18:46  
and and how about if somebody just is not that able to achieve the levels that their friends and colleagues are achieving? So they’re immediately demotivated because you’ve just said don’t look at other people, but it’s really important to motivate, whatever the standard. Yeah, of the individual. And that’s a hard one, because you want to motivate for really strong goals, but maybe they’re just not able and, and they just won’t do it because they’ll be seen as , not able to do it. So they just won’t do it.
Sean  19:20  
Yeah. And I think when you look at some of the you know, when you look at some of the groups and even at pro pro athlete sort of level, and and some of the some of the courses that I was on sort of within the military, you know, you had to get a real balance, and you’ll never get there always be somebody better, quicker, faster, stronger. And so I think as an individual, you need to understand your own your own ability, but I think as a leader or a coach, or a parent, and for sure, you know, making sure that that individual feels comfortable, comfortable within that environment within that team that in that circumstances. That’s really important. And you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t shy away from that and don’t take it for granted. I mean, certainly, you know, with athletics, as you quite rightly know, john, you know, we’ve got some real mixed groups, and we’ve got some stars, you know, coming through there and every one of those groups, but I think what we also have a group that’s very comfortable with each other. So, you know, and that’s because I think we make it light hearted, but we take it very serious. And I think if you can, if you can do that through the right, dynamic leadership, which is what they’re looking for you to form because it’s coaches, parents, it says people’s different reactions that, you know, will temper how that individual is going to going to act. So, you know, I think it made them at ease, make them feel valued, make them feel what they’re doing is really good. And then just stretch that a little bit a bit. I think making it comfortable at the start is definitely, you know, a way a way to go forward, I think then that that that then goes into competitions, and then you know, they feel competence within themselves. And as long as they’re getting coached, and as long as they’re getting praised for what they’ve done. And then that should help build, you know, any sort of future motivation.
John Campbell  21:20  
And that’s really interesting. And then just moving to wrap this up if I was, if I was to put you in a scenario where you had a teenage son or daughter who just was not of motivated mindset, who just wasn’t actually fulfilling their own potential. What would your advice be to your parent have such a person walk? or could they they try, because that’s the real one that is sitting there, people just can’t get their teenage kids who they see have potential, but they’re just not kind of getting there?
Sean  21:58  
Yeah. So I think I think it’s probably one of the one of the biggest challenges, I think, insight into society yet is this, it goes back to what I said at the start, there are so many distractions, whether it be group distractions, technology, or as distractions. And I think, for me, you know, it doesn’t, it have to have a bit of an idea of you had a 14 year old, who said, you know, well, I’ve never really tried outdoors, you know, I’ve never, I’ve never been to the sky, I’ve never been to the Peak District. And I think, you know, potentially linking it into an activity, that you can submerse them in at a very, very low level, and taking away all those sort of distractions, so it probably will take them out of their comfort zone. But if if you’re in an environment, where they can probably get a real, a real high, high level of sort of enjoyment out of it, it will be fun, there won’t be any distractions. So that potentially, you know, taking a look at the technology, because there isn’t any Wi Fi. You know, there’s no 4g, but what there is, is, is this whole arena of activity in front of you, which at the end has got a bit of a goal, which could be, you know, going out for a bit of sort of software on the way back, making it a long day adventure. And I think if you can, if you can do that, and I would use outdoors, I think the outdoors are fantastic to get people motivated, there is something out there for everybody. We’ve seen it so much in lockdown. I mean, just where we live now. And you know, we’ve seen so many visitors we’ve never seen before. But what you do see is you see a lot of families that have clearly, you know, we speak to quite a few of them, you know, never been in the outdoors before that. Now say and this is fantastic. We’ve never had this experience before. And so I think if you can, if you can do that with it with the people in new videos and the children that you know, we all sort of struggling with that I think that’s a good way forward and take a friend, you know, don’t don’t single them out as a right. Okay, Mom and Dad, we’re gonna go to Sky this weekend. And we’re going to climb and canoe and you’ll be you’re going to enjoy it. You know, sell it, why don’t you bring? What do you bring a friend, let’s just let’s just go away for the night. Let’s have a real adventure. And some sometimes, you know, you can plant the seed early by just watching one of the YouTube videos. Just some great podcasts out there some great YouTube clips, that you know, just show people having a great time and outdoors, and how much motivation that that secretly starts to sort of, you know, get the juices flowing. And yeah, I would just just try and do something along those lines. It certainly worked for us anyway.
John Campbell  24:44  
No, that’s great. No, good, good bit of advice to finish with. So just want to thank you, Sean, for spending the time. It’s as great to hear just just generally how you’re going to vote it so really appreciate it. Thank you very much.
Sean 24:57  
Pleasure. Thanks so much, john.
John Campbell  24:59  
Thanks. Sean Scott for sharing his ideas and, and some of his methods and motivation. It’s such an important point. And and just to bring it to a close, everyone is motivated by something really unique to find what that something is set the goals and targets. And as Sean was saying, the few things you just have to try to to remember one is to make it fun, then you’ve got to set achievable goals and really do not expect perfection, it’s really important. It’s not all about being perfect at it. And one other one I would like to say is you have to set an example, you have to show them that you are motivated to do and you’re setting the example. There are kind of when you when you’re going out and you’re coaching, there are three kind of sections that we need to remember three times in that activity or, or that coaching process. And one is you’ve got to look at how to get started. And that’s one type of motivation. then continuing activity, there’s there’s definitely something there in terms of persistence, and making them continue to move forward. And finally, this focus, you’ve got to get the right intensity and focus and energy into the activity. And I think we’ll we’ll do another podcast looking at some of these finer details of of motivation. But I hope you enjoyed this session, or today’s podcast, and please subscribe to the channel. look us up on inspired and active.com and thanks for listening today and I’ll speak to you next week.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Motivating others is sometimes a challenge:a discussion with Sean Scott