How Can Visual Props be a Motivator to a Sports Team?

Signs can be so much more than signs.  Adding visuals for a sports team can be something that has value well beyond a dollar amount.  When visual props are added to a sporting event, field, stadium, or other location, there are so many things they can do. 

They can improve communication and provide a special, one-of-a-kind long-lasting method of motivation for not only current players, but for past and future players as well. Effective signs and props have a wonderful ripple effect on all those around the team.

Signs and visuals can be just a visual jumble and cluttered mess.  However, when done correctly, a custom team graphic can present athletes with advantages beyond special training equipment or physical skill.  

Having an effective visual prop can give a mental edge to your team.  Read on to discover how visual props can give a motivational advantage to your own sports teams.

Visualization to Succeed

Many athletes use visualization for goals they wish to achieve.  Be it crossing the finish line in record time or sinking a tie-breaking free-throw, athletes rely on visuals.  Visual props can also help athletes in a similar way.  

Having bright, eye-catching visual representations of a team’s colors and mascots adds to the athlete’s ability to be self-motivated on the sport at hand.  Visual representations do not need to only be seen in the mind by a single person. Having a visual sign or prop that tens, hundreds, or even thousands of people can see, can have long-lasting motivational effects.


People can communicate with one another through a variety of means.  Of course, people use words, tone, voice inflection, and even body language.  However, visual communication can be a highly effective means to communicate.  Visual props can be used as a motivator because they provide the opportunity for an emotional connection. 

Many times, students and team members feel a sense of pride, honor, and passion when they connect a visual image or prop to themselves.  The images can be ingrained in the person’s brain, leaving a lasting impression, long after they do not see the image directly in front of them.  

It’s important to understand why visual communication is so important.  When a person gives someone directions with visuals or landmarks, it is more likely to be remembered than a person just receiving verbal directions.  Think of these visual props for an athlete as visuals and landmarks to communicate taking pride and ignite passion when they play.

Visuals can communicate simply and effectively where words can fail or present the message unclearly.  Communicate with other teams and their supporters that this team is the real deal.  

Seeing is believing; when people see clear-cut, effective signs and visuals it communicates to others that this team means business.  They are communicating they are ready to work, put forth their best effort, and leave everything out there on the court or field.


Right along the lines of communication is motivation.  When a visual prop or sign communicates effectively with an athlete, it can prove to be a source of motivation for the athlete.  Without visuals, the person can be unmotivated.  

Think of a gymnasium with grey walls and wooden bleachers; the room is empty and bland.  How can an athlete be motivated to play in a dull environment?

Now, picture the same gymnasium with various visual signs and props.  Having a team emblem, a team mascot, achievements, and records hung on walls, can provide an athlete with an advantage over his or her opponents.  

Entering the “home” of another team and witnessing the pride and motivating factors through these visuals can be intimidating to a visiting team.  However, for those who are at home, it provides a chance for the home athletes additional motivation and drive, on top of the fans cheering them on.


Athletes appreciate recognition for their hard work and achievements.  There is no better way to enshrine the accomplishments and accolades of a sports team than through signs and other visuals.  

Having a visual hung from the rafters is exciting for the athletes.  It is also a way to have the memories of a championship season or a record-breaking achievement to be remembered long after the season has ended.

Awards are fantastic.  Trophies, ribbons, and medals are meaningful.  However, after the game or season is done, these items can go on a dusty shelf or in a box.  The tangible item can be forgotten.  

However, by displaying a sign or other visual item – in a room, gym, arena, or stadium – the recognition becomes greater and more meaningful.  The memories live on well past the final second of a game.

Humans are Meant to Be Visual Learners

Did you realize that half of the brain is devoted to processing visual information?  Did you also know that nearly two-thirds of the human population is considered to be visual learners?  Adding visual elements, be it through signs or other visual props, can truly send home a lasting, meaningful message to your athletes.  

Adding visual props can also be a cost-effective way to prove a team is truly valued. Take time and find the right visual prop or representation that you are looking for.  Having the right visual will have a long-lasting impact on different parties.  

From future players to current players working towards a goal, to the family members of the team and their coaches, as well as the alumnae, everyone can take pride in their team.  Everyone can develop a meaningful sense of motivation – whether they are physically playing the game or cheering on the team from the stands.

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