Do you prefer the carrot or stick method of coaching? Take our quiz to find out
As athletes, we’re all different. Some of us rely on brute strength, others on impeccable technique, and some of us on sheer determination. In training, what method is the best at pushing you towards your goals: the carrot or the stick?
What is the carrot-and-stick approach?
The phrase is a metaphor for the use of reward and punishment in training. It refers to a cart driver holding a carrot in front of their horse to drive it forward, while also holding a stick behind it. Some people might respond well to rewards, others to punishment, and some might find both beneficial.
Either way, it’s useful to know what training method suits you best so you can make your training sessions as rewarding as possible and maintain a positive mindset. So, take the quiz and find out which training method is best for you.
All you have to do is pick the choice that best represents your response.
“When someone tells me I’m bad at something, I have to prove them wrong.”
- Depends on the day or my mood
“I find it hard to concentrate after someone gives me negative feedback.”
“There have been times I performed better because someone offered me a reward, e.g. money, food, or privileges.”
- A few times, but not always
“I tend to perform better when someone gives me compliments.”
“I find it difficult to cope with negative feedback.”
“If my coach said I have to swim extra laps if I don’t reach my time targets, I’d definitely be annoyed with them.”
- It’s neither here nor there
If you got mostly As…
You’re a stick kind of person. Nothing spurs you on more than wanting to avoid something less than ideal or knowing you’ll get negative feedback if you aren’t training as well as you could be. If your coach is the type to really let you know when you’re doing something wrong and instil you with determination, then you’ll probably be performing better than ever soon.
If you got mostly Bs…
Nothing spurs you on more than knowing there’s a reward at the end of the tunnel. You can see your coach dangling that carrot in front of you and you use it to help you reach your goals in the pool. As long as your coach lets you know when you’re doing the right thing, you’ll be well on your way to success.
If you got mostly Cs…
It’s a bit more tricky to determine what makes you tick. Sometimes a little negative feedback can push you to perform better, but other times you just want to know if you’re doing OK. Don’t worry about it too much, though. As long as you’re making progress in the pool, you’re doing something right.
Knowing how to motivate yourself and use feedback to drive yourself towards your goals is invaluable in training. It’s a way to make every training session count, helping you see progress faster than ever before. If you don’t know your preferred method of training yet, why not test it out? Get your coach or a helpful friend to incorporate a little reward and punishment into your training session and see how you get on.
You can make this as fun or weird as you like, including a game of truth or dare as a punishment, or maybe someone will have to pay for your dinner as a reward? Even if you know whether you prefer the carrot or the stick, why not make training a little more interesting?
At Maru, we are carrot lovers. We feel rewarded when our customers give us great feedback on our beautiful costume designs. We put a lot of effort into making sure they’re comfortable, look great and are perfect for all types of swimmers. Take a look at our swimwear on our website.